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Ask a Pro: What Should I Look for in Durable Gravel Bags?

Posted by Sonoco Conitex Team on March 15,2022

What are gravel bags used for, and what makes a good gravel bag good? We sat down with one of our experts to find out.

Let’s start with some basic definitions: 

What are gravel bags? What are their typical uses? 

Gravel bags are, as their name suggests, bags designed to transport and store a bulk volume of gravel. They’re used for a wide variety of projects, from agricultural initiatives to large-scale construction events. Gravel bags can go a long way toward minimizing erosion or establishing flood control. 

What happens when you use a low-quality gravel bag? 

Since gravel bags tend to be out in the elements for long periods of time, selecting low-quality or weak bags can result in bag failure despite well-intended protective measures. 

If you select the wrong type of bag to fill with gravel, the bag could breach. You’ll end up with a mess of gravel all over the place—and potentially a large tab for cleanup and other damages, including safety risks.

What goes into a high-quality gravel bag, then? 

That’s what we’re answering today! To delve deeper into the anatomy of great gravel bags, we discussed the matter with the experts on our team. Here’s what we learned. 

What type of materials are bulk gravel bags made from? 

To get the strength and durability you’re looking for in a good gravel bag, you would do well to select a woven polypropylene flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC). When compared to standard, untreated burlap sacks or even paper products, the woven polypropylene sand and gravel bags we offer hold up better to the elements with proper storage. 

What’s the most important feature of a high-quality gravel bag? 

It’s hard to select just one! If you want your gravel bags to function well for erosion control or other similar high-impact tasks, you’ll want to consider the following: 

  • Strength: Typically, gravel bags are used for jobs such as erosion/flood control or for use in construction, so the bags need to be able to handle challenging worksite environments. You’re looking for a robust bag that can hold a good amount of gravel without a bag failure. 

  • Durability: While durability goes hand in hand with strength, it’s worth noting on its own. When you’re looking for gravel bags, you need one that will be able to stay intact through unpredictable or rough conditions. 

  • Longevity: Often, gravel bags will be stored for long periods of time. During storage, your bag might be exposed to the sun and other environmental elements. Look for a bag that has the proper UV inhibitor at a minimum; additional protective features for a gravel bag may be needed. While no bag is completely UV resistant, a UV inhibitor can slow degradation. It’ll still be important to use a cover for long-term storage, but a UV inhibitor can help protect against wear from harsh UV rays. 

Are there custom bulk bags available for gravel and other aggregates? 

Absolutely. At Conitex Sonoco, we offer bulk bags appropriate for use with gravel, sand, and other aggregates. When you discuss the goals of your project with your gravel bag specialist, they will be able to recommend customizations that work for you. 

For example, when we help you design a custom bag perfect for your needs, we may recommend the following great-for-gravel bulk bag specs: 

  • An FIBC with a duffle or open top for easy filling

  • An economical and dual-use option, such as a simple solid bottom bag that can be cut with designated tools used for quick discharge, when needed, or when the bags are being used as a berm for erosion control, for example

  • An FIBC made of black material; this type of material exhibits 30 percent less degradation

What’s the most important thing I need to know about keeping durable gravel bags in good shape?

Great question. Our No. 1 pro tip? Store your bags well! Keep them out of the sun in a dry location, and try to keep them covered during storage. That way, when you need to use them, you can know that your gravel bags are ready to do the job you got them for! 

Grab the gravel bags geared to help you reach your goals.

Your FIBC gravel bags may not feel like the star of the show, but if you are in the construction, agriculture, or erosion/flood control industries, they are assets that you want to have 100 percent confidence in. At Conitex Sonoco, we’re here to help you design strong, durable, and long-lasting bags that you don’t have to worry about now or later. 

Interested in learning more about the safest, most reliable bulk bags? The experts at Conitex Sonoco are already ready to lend their expertise. Give our friendly team a call today to ask any questions you may have, and, in the meantime, download our ultimate guide to FIBC safety!

Click to get your complimentary guide on the safe handling of FIBC bulk bags

Tags: BulkSak®, FIBC Bulk Bags, bulk bags

Sonoco Conitex Team
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Sonoco Conitex Team