Flexitank: What is it?
The flexitank, also called flexibag or flexitanque is a flexible tank bag or large containerthat transforms a conventional 20’DV in a safe and efficient marine transportation system of bulk liquids.
Capacity of flexitank
Allows carry between 10,000 and 24,000 liters, although the most common models are16,000, 18,000, 20,000, 22,000 and 24,000 liters. Usually we choose the higher capacity model, but always mind the the density. Here you can see the most common sizes of flexitank by type of product:
Types of flexitank
Flexitanks single use or reusable
The first flexitanks marketed were reusable and needed to be cleaned before further use,making them inconvenient. However, since the mid 90’s TIBA only offers customers a single useflexitanks. Thus, the exporter has the full assurance that there will be nocontamination by a residue from a previous product.
Number of layers of a flexitank
Considering the number of layers which it is manufactured, there are three types of flexitank:
- Multilayer flexitanks: the first flexitanks were made between 4 and 5 layers of polyethylene. The main advantage of the multilayer flexitanks is that each layer is very thin and flexible, making it very easy when the download is complete roll the semi-empty flexitank to not leave losses (like a toothpaste tube it were). However, these layers as thintend to break easily, allowing part of the product is left between the layers and their recovery is impossible.
- Monolayer Flexitanks : TIBA was the first company to market a single layer flexitanks in Spain and Portugal. This type of equipment is manufactured in a single layer of polyethylene thicker than multilayer flexitank, and thus less flexible. Its main advantage is that no product can remain between the layers. However, because it is less flexible it is more likely to occur a stress crack or rupture inthe pocket caused by excessive force, generally in a corner, which can not be absorbed.
- Bilayer flexitanks: combining the advantages of the previous two systems, was born onflexitank bilayer. It is manufactured with a layer of polyethylene, hard as monolayer but thin and flexible, laminated with a second twisted layer XXXXX which protects the interior of the irregularities of the container.
TIBA, since January 2010, only sells bilayer flexitanks, due to their demonstrated safety.
Flexitanks upper or lower load
There are two systems of loading / unloading in the flexitanks market:
- Upload / download above: flexitank is equipped with a valve on top of it, which means that both loading and downloading an operator must climb above the bulkhead, to connect and disconnect the hose. While the charge and discharge is simpler, it is a system less secure, less easy and costly in time.
- Upload / download below: in this case the valve is located on the bottom front of theflexitank and passes through the bulkhead or bulkhead, which is simple and safe to connect the hose to load or unload.
TIBA only sells flexitanks bottom loading, due to their safety and efficiency.
Flexitank with thermal insulation
Depending on product type, weather conditions and temperature range desired, we can install the flexitank with thermal insulation, ensuring the desired temperature from product load until his discharge on arrival. Contact our sales department about the advantages of Flexitank for your product.
Yes, have a serpentine carpet, placed at the time of installation of Flexitank, it allows to heat the product to liquify, thus enabling discharge. Contact our sales department about the advantages of Flexitank for your product.
What liquids can be transported in a Flexitank?
In general, it can carry any non-dangerous liquids. Below there is a non exhaustive list of all that can be transported in a flexitank:
- White oils
- Palm oil
- Ricinoleic acid
- Transformer oils
- Edible oils
- Lactic acid
- Vegetable oils
- Drinking water
- Aluminum chlorohydroxide
- Fruit concentrates
- Malt extract
- Natural latex
- Synthetic latex
- Non-hazardous chemicals
- Printing Ink
- and much more …
To find out if your product can be transported in flexitank, ask us.
Advantages of Flexitank
The flexitank is a non-hazardous liquid transport system very interesting both for cost and for environmental reasons. Its main advantages are:
Flexitank vs Isotank
- Increased availability: the flexitank can be positioned anywhere in the world within days and in any case, it is much cheaper to maintain an available stock than the isotanks. Instead, Isotanks must be cleaned and repositioned once used, which can not always be available.
- Best cost: there are many routes where the isotanque once reaches its destination and is empty, should be sent vacuum to another site because there is no return loads. The customer may not know this, but in practice ends up paying the cost of returning empty. By using the flexitank, it is always much easier to reuse a standard shipping container.
Drums or IBCs vs Flexitank
- Best cost: in a sea container with flexitank can get several thousand liters more than drums, which directly affects the logistics cost.
- Ease of handling: it is much easier, cheaper and safe to handle a hose than drums or IBCs.
- Low environmental impact: the flexitank is made of 100% recyclable materials.
Using the flexitank
Transportation of flexitank
Once loaded, the transportation of container is the same as in all other cases. Not all flexitanks manufacturers are certified by all shipping lines and not all have passed the stress tests of the COA (Container Owners Association). It is therefore important to ensure the chosen flexitank may be transported by sea without problems.
If the container is eventually transported by rail shall ensure that flexitank manufacturer is approved specifically for the rail system.
Discharging the flexitank
Contact us, we will resolve any questions you have about how to transport your bulk liquids.
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