Cherokee Manufacturing is a proud member of the FIBCA Association. FIBC or Flexible Intermediate Bulk Bags are an industrial container made of flexible fabric and designed for storing/transporting dry, flowable products such as sand, fertilizer, etc. They are usually constructed from thick woven polyethylene or polypropylene, either coated or uncoated and normally measure around 45-45″ in diameter and 35-80″ in height depending on the specific end use need. Typically, a bulk bag will transport one metric ton of material while only weighing approx 5-7 lbs itself. The bags usually are not water proof unless coated due to the woven nature of the fabrication. In general, the bags are recyclable if made of 100% virgin polypropylene.
Cherokee Manufacturing offers bulk bags for the following industries and applications:
Heights for FIBC’s are based on how much product needs to be placed in the bag and typically range from 20″ to 88″. Standard widths and lengths are also based on end-use needs. Typical sizes are:
|Use||Unfilled Size||Filled Size|
|Export Container||35″ x 35″||41″ x 41″|
|Flat Bed Truck||35″ x 35″||41″ x 41″|
|Truck||35″ x 35″||41″ x 41″|
|Rail Car||35″ x 35″||41″ x 41″”|
FBIC’s significantly improve labor force efficiency with their easy-fill and easy-empty characteristics. They eliminate the need to handle, slit and dispose of small 50 or 100 lb bags and will often empty directly into processing equipment. Most rigid or corrugated containers must be pre-assembled which a process not needed with bulk bags. Wood pallet usage is at a minimum if not eliminated. Most bulk bags empty with a minimum of dust and air contamination and save on storage space as they are totally collapsible. Since they are probably the least expensive means of packaging and transporting bulk products, FIBC’s cut costs considerably. The durable, tough industrial fabrics used in making bulk bags protects products and ensures safe storage and shipping. Since a forklift does all the work, no special handling or equipment is needed.
FIBC’s are used for shipping, storing and dispensing products. Standard spouts ensure quick, no-spill filling and discharge of contents. FIBC’s typically feature a perimeter band (band sewn around the outside edge of the top of the bag) to give extra strength to loops when filling. Baffles are pieces of material sewn to the inside corners of a bag to maintain a square shape after filling. The baffles typically have holes that allow the product to flow freely through them so as not to lose bag storage space to empty baffles. FIBC’s may be UV treated to protect them from breakdown especially during storage. The UV treatment is an additive to the resin during the extrusion process.
Transporting and loading is done on either pallets or by lifting it from the loops. Bags are made with either one, two or four lifting loops. The single loop bag is suitable for one man operations as there is no need for a second man to put the loops on the loader hook. Emptying is made easy by a special opening in the bottom such as a discharge spout or by simply cutting it open.
Most FIBC’s are considered single use containers unless they have a 6:1 SF (safety factor). If an FIBC has a safety factor lower than this, the fabric might be worn down and the loops could be breaking down as well. A 6:1 SF designates the bags are rated to hold 6 times the amount of the bag’s SWL (safe working load). This means that a bulk bag’s safe working load is the amount of weight that the bag is rated and tested to hold safely. Another term often used for bulk bags is UN certification. This is a test that puts the FIBC through a set of rigorous test such as drop test, tear test, etc. The certification is usually good for one year from testing.