IBCs for Dummies!
What are they?
Intermediate Bulk Containers or ‘IBCs’ are versatile, reusable, affordable, pallet mounted containers. Most commonly, IBCs are made from a plastic tote container with a surrounding tubular galvanised steel grid. These properties mean IBCs are suitable for a variety of purposes across a diverse range of industries; safely storing liquids, pastes, powders, semi-solids, solids and hazardous materials. In addition to these rigid IBCs, other types include folding and flexible IBCs.
Why use an IBC?
There are many advantages in the use of IBCs, primarily thanks to the engineering and design of the IBC model.
Functionally, IBCs have a tap/valve at the base, allowing easy transfer of contents in a variety of applications and scales. IBCs are designed with usability in mind, hence are easy to move whether it be in bulk via transit or for an end user and their forklift using the integrated pallet base mount.
From a spacial perspective, the cubed design allows a larger volume for a given footprint, making the IBC far more efficient when compared to a pallet of standard shipping drums or other consumer quantities.
Thanks to the construction of IBCs, they serve as a durable and reliable method of handling and storage of materials. This allows for both long term/storage applications, in addition to purposes where a short term solution is needed, promoting ‘greener’ use cases via reuse, reconditioning and recycling.
Furthermore, the IBC construction allows the user to increase efficiencies through logistic, handling timelines and transit as well as loading and dispensing activities.
Within the IBC world, there are also many variants that can be selected according to your needs and budget, with offerings of refurbished, recondition, rebottled and brand new IBCs.
What can IBCs be used for?
- Bulk chemicals
- Hazardous Materials
- Industrial commodities and raw materials
- Liquid, granulated and powdered food ingredients
- Syrups such as corn syrup and molasses
- Petrochemical products such as oils, solvents & adhesives
- Paints, dyes and industrial coatings
- Pharmaceutical compounds
- Healthcare applications such as waste, bio waste and solid commodities
- Agriculture, nursery and greenhouse uses/chemicals
- Rainwater collection
- Vineyards, breweries and spirits
- & much more!
Rigid IBCs have an inner tote manufactured from plastics such as polyethylene or high density polyethylene (HDPE). IBCs are also available in materials such as aluminium or galvanised iron. The outer IBC cage is usually made from galvanised tubular steel or iron.
IBCs have a standard footprint of 48” X 40”, making them an extremely efficient size for use with pallets around the world. The volume range of IBCs is between that of standard shipping drums and intermodal tank containers, with common capacities of 275 and 330 gallon. It is also possible to purchase UN/DOT certified variants for specific uses where appropriate.
For more information on IBCs, quotes and consultations on the best solution for you, get in touch with us today.