History Of FIBC/Builders Bags

History of the FIBC

An FIBC or flexible intermediate bulk container also known as a builder’s bag, bulk sack, big bag or tonne bag amongst others is to put it simply, a large bag of made of flexible material made for storing and transporting granulate or powder products such as cement, seeds, fertilisers, starch, sand and cattle feeds for the building and agricultural industries but also applicable for numerous others. Any company which has need to store and transport bulk, dry goods can make their job easier utilising these versatile solutions.

Constructed from polypropylene (coated or uncoated) and in a variety of sizes, their capacity is usually 1,000kg (2.200 lbs) but there are specialist bags with even more capacity.

They are made to be moved with a forklift truck either on pallets or by using a loader hook with the built-in standard or cross corner lifting loops or straps. FIBCs, like ours, are usually manufactured with one, two or four lifting loops, the one loop works for solitary workers as it eliminates the need for a second person to put the loop onto the hook.


Early FIBC Bags

A version of today’s multi versatile FIBC has been used since the 1940s and is believed to have originated in the rubber industry, but it was not until the late 1950s or early 1960s and advances in weaving alongside the development of polypropylene that the FIBC as we know it today finally started to come into being. The original manufacturers welded together cut sheets of heavy-duty PVC coated nylon or polyester to form the finished FIBC. These bags as the modern-day ones are, were made with integrated lift hoops or straps at the top to enable lifting via a forklift truck or backhoe digger. They were also made sat atop specially made pallets or lifting devices allowing them to be filled from the top and discharged from the bottom.


Oil Crisis 

In the mid-1970s with the oil crisis in full swing, the FIBC manufacturing industry grew quickly. The building demands of the oil producing countries required between thirty and fifty thousand metric tons of cement from Europe every week. To ship quickly and effectively required the workhorse FIBC.

 The History Of FIBC/Builders Bags-Stacked FIBC Bags

American Growth

Until 1984, when the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) decided to give exemptions for the shipment of hazardous chemicals in FIBCs, the demand for bulk bags in the United States increased slower than in Europe. The Chemical Packaging Committee of the Packaging Institute, USA, developed and released T-4102-85 performance requirements for FIBCs. Until DOT incorporated flexible containers alongside the other types of IBCs in the Title 49 CFR for hazardous materials, these requirements were used to gain exemptions.


FIBCs to the Rescue

FIBCs are frequently utilised in North America to avoid flooding as well. An 1850 kg (4,070 lbs) bag can be used to make a solid wall of sand, 400 regular-sized sandbags at a time, with a footprint of at least 3 feet by 3 feet and a height of almost 4 feet.

Thailand utilised big bags to erect temporary walls to protect areas during the 2011 Thailand floods. Walls built using big bags instead of smaller traditionally used sandbags were termed the big bag wall, or big bag barrier.

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