Woven polypropylene sacks from Centurion Packaging can be used for packing, storing and transporting goods. This included food and agricultural products, chemicals, building materials in dry, granular, powder, flake or dust form.
However, there is an important hazard to be aware of when it comes to bulk containers, which is the threat of dust explosions.
They will result in significant loss of product which can be dangerous to workers and equipment. Bulk container users need to be aware when handling hazardous ingredients to reduce the risk of such events.
How Can Dust Explosions Happen?
Dust explosions happen when electrostatic discharges trigger the volatile material in the bulk container. This takes place when you fill or empty the bag, as this is when the most agitation of the material against the bag happens. Electrostatic charge can build up and discharge when brushing against the surface of an insulating FBIC or liner. The discharges could ignite flammable gas, vapour and dust atmospheres. Spark discharges could occur from the conductive parts of containers that need to be grounded if they aren't already.
Avoiding Dust Explosions with Bulk Bags
To avoid dust explosions, it is important to know the characteristics of the goods stored in your FIBC before selecting your bulk container. Centurion Packaging would recommend having the following information available to you -
Is the material you pack combustible?
If your product has no explosive or flammable characteristics, you don't need to worry about dust explosions. It is worth noting that the majority of powder materials in general industries are made up of combustible dust.
Are flammable gases or vapours present when you are packing or storing goods?
Take some time to evaluate whether or not there may be flammable gases present in your factory or warehouse. Some packaged materials can release off-gases into the atmosphere over time.
What is the Minimum Ignition Energy of the dust material?
The minimum ignition energy (MIE) is the lowest level of electrostatic spark energy that could ignite a dust cloud. It is possible to have your material tested to find out the MIE if the information isn't easily accessible. If the MIE is below 25 megajoules, there is a significant combustion risk and you will need to find out the Electrostatic Chargeability and Volume Resistivity and Charge Relaxation Time characteristics for your materials.
Using Inside Liners for Powder Woven Polypropylene Sacks
You may be interested in using inside liners for your bulk bags to avoid leakage or to add further protection for your goods. Please be aware liners can actually increase the chances of electrostatic discharge and dust explosion. If you are packaging potentially combustible material, consult your bulk container manufacturer about the use of bulk bag liners and the type of liner it is most appropriate and safe to use for your packaging situation.