In the modern manufacturing industry, resin is a small product with a huge impact. Resin is used in the manufacture of hundreds of types of products. These days, it is a vital part of everyday life.
In 2019, U.S. resin production reached 121 billion pounds. That’s a huge amount of material to move through the national and global supply chain—especially when you consider the fact that transporting and storing resin can be extremely challenging.
The very nature of resin can make it difficult to work with. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider the quality and features of the bulk bags you use in order to ensure your company is able to transport and store resin as efficiently and effectively as possible.
The Challenges of Storing and Transporting Resin
What makes resin so difficult to work with during storage and transport? Because the individual pieces of resin are so small, the product as a whole “flows” and shifts easily, almost like heavy sand.
In most cases, resin is stored and transported in flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBCs). FIBCs are generally well suited for handling resin, but choosing the wrong FIBC can lead to a variety of challenges, such as:
- Bag bulging: A thin, flimsy bag tends to bulge once it’s filled with resin. This makes each bag take up more space, which limits the number of bags that can fit into a container or warehouse space.
- Inefficient use of the space within each bag: If an FIBC can’t hold its shape during the filling process, resin can easily “catch” in certain areas of the bag, leaving gaps of wasted space at the sides and in the corners.
- Lack of protection from moisture and oxygen: Low-quality bags can let in outside contaminants. This is especially problematic for engineered resins, which need to be protected from moisture and other foreign materials.
- Difficulty stacking: Resin products can easily shift in bulk bags, which makes it hard to stack them in a stable way. During storage and transport, this can create a dangerous situation for employees, and it can lead to product damage.
Solving Resin Packaging Problems
Luckily, these problems aren’t inherent to all FIBC bulk bags. To avoid these challenges when transporting resin, you simply have to choose your bags carefully.
First and foremost, look for bulk bags made with heavier fabric weights and coated fabrics. This helps ensure the bags will hold their shape when filled. When your bags don’t bulge out in the middle, you’re able to fit more resin into boxy shipping containers and into neat warehousing rows. This maximizes the amount of space you’re able to use, which cuts down on costs.
Using sturdy bags with coated fabrics also helps improve stability when multiple bags are stacked on top of one another. This makes stacked bags safer for your workers and the product. (Just imagine the chaos of a warehouse full of unstable, slouching bulk bags full of resin. Or better yet, don’t think about that.)
Another tip is to choose a baffle bulk bag or an FIBC that uses a baffled bulk bag liner, which helps your bag hold a strong rectangular shape. Whether you choose the bag or the liner to be baffled depends on your requirements for moisture protection. The baffle design reduces product catching during the filling process, which allows you to make the most of every square inch of the bag and, again, minimizes your costs.
For engineered resins, which are susceptible to damage from moisture and other contaminants, you can use bulk bags with nitrogen flush capabilities and aluminum liners. This will ensure the product is protected from contaminants, both immediately after the bag is filled and throughout its journey in the supply chain.
On a final note, there’s one more step you can take to improve stability during shipping and storage: Opt for pallets specifically made for bulk bags. These strong yet lightweight corrugated paper pallets provide better support for FIBCs than traditional wood pallets do, enabling workers to safely stack even the heaviest bulk bags. Because they are lighter than wood pallets, paper pallets are also more cost-effective, safer to handle, and easier to move.
If your bulk bags must be placed on wood pallets for protection against moisture from the ground, consider using a paper board pallet liner to protect your bag from wood splinters, nail pops and tearing.
Resin Doesn’t Have to Be a Challenge
Resin is notoriously difficult to transport and store in FIBC bulk bags. However, by carefully selecting high-quality bags with features that improve their stability, prevent bulging, and eliminate contaminants, you’ll find that resin isn’t the problem child it once seemed to be. Be sure to speak to a trusted bulk bag manufacturer to determine which FIBCs will work best for your specific needs.