Crumb rubber was a fairly new concept when it was first used in the early 2000s to create a new artificial turf system. The strong, cushioned surface was a hit with athletes, who disliked playing on hard AstroTurf. Since then, the use of crumb rubber has exploded in popularity, with businesses and government agencies alike embracing the use of recycled materials.
Even as crumb rubber is used in more and more applications—including rubber flooring products, a variety of athletic surfaces, playgrounds, and public walkways—it can still be challenging to handle throughout the manufacturing process. Companies that handle crumb rubber, or raw materials such as carbon, must take special precautions when it comes to transportation and storage. It’s important to use the right packaging for both crumb rubber and carbon materials.
Storing Crumb Rubber
Crumb rubber can be challenging to store in a safe and cost-effective way. That’s because the material can be very fine, which makes spillage a concern.
Another common problem arises when manufacturers store bulk bags full of crumb rubber outside. Over time, the bags are susceptible to UV damage, which makes their loops brittle. This makes the bags difficult to move without further damaging them.
Bags that will be stored outside for long periods of time need to be protected from UV damage, either by a shroud or with a bulk bag that offers greater UV protection. For example, you could use a bag with a UV additive or opt for a black bulk bag. This small change has been shown to offer 35 percent more UV protection than a standard white bulk bag.
"If you will be storing the bags outside for longer than 24 hours be sure to cover them."
Finally, if your crumb rubber will be stored outside, consider also using black lift loops made from durable materials that are slower to degrade. This will help you ensure your bulk bags are safe and easy to move. If you will be storing the bags outside for longer than 24 hours be sure to cover them to protect them from UV exposure as bulk bags will begin to deteriorate immediately when exposed to UV light and high temperatures.
Storing Carbon Materials
For companies that store and transport carbon for the tire and rubber industry, proper packaging is an even more pressing concern. Carbon must be handled with extreme care, because it can expose employees and work spaces to potentially hazardous substances.
Storing carbon materials in typical bulk bags presents a problem: When employees are ready to use the carbon, they first have to weigh it and then open the packaging. Not only is this inefficient; it can be downright dangerous if employees are exposed to the raw materials.
When working with carbon, it’s best to use batch inclusion bags instead of traditional bulk bags. Batch inclusion bags have a low melting point, so they can be thrown directly into the hopper with the raw materials. Because the entire bag goes into the hopper, employees don’t have to worry about unpacking the raw materials, which is safer and more efficient. Plus, batch inclusion bags create zero waste.
When working with batch inclusion bags, it’s important to be mindful of cross-contamination—especially if you work in the tire or rubber industry. These bags are typically stored on the production floor, or in inventory, where they can easily come in contact with foreign materials or substances. If the exterior of the bags becomes contaminated before they are thrown into the hopper, you could compromise the quality of the end product.
Your method for storing and transporting carbon-filled batch inclusion bags should be taken into consideration. Wood pallets can contaminate the exterior of the bags with splinters, mold, insects, and other contaminants. To avoid cross-contamination, opt for corrugated paper pallets, which don’t have nails or splinters and help protect packages from mold, insects, and other issues that are common with wood pallets.
The Right Bag for the Job
For companies that handle crumb rubber or raw materials such as carbon, packaging is an important component of success. Bulk bags have emerged as a safe, reliable, and cost-effective solution for crumb rubber, and batch inclusion bags allow for the safe and efficient handling of carbon. If your business deals with either of these specialty materials, it’s important to ensure you’re always using the right bag for the job at hand. Click here to learn more about bulk bags for crumb rubber