Flexitank: What is it?
The flexitank, also called flexibag or flexitanque is a flexible tank bag or large container that transforms a conventional 20’DV in a safe and efficient marine transportation system of bulk liquids.
Capacity of a flexitank
Allows to 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:
Sizes of flexitank
|Flexitank for Glycerin transport||20,000 l|
|Flexitank for wine transport||24,000 l|
|Flexitank to transport olive oil||22,000 l|
|Flexitank to transport palm oil||21,000 l|
|Flexitank for Polyol transport||19,000 l|
|Flexitank for Latex transport||19,000 l|
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 use flexitanks. Thus, the exporter has the full assurance that there will be no contamination 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 the flexitank 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
Flexitank first must be installed in a shipping container, the process must be performed only by qualified personnel and approved by the manufacturer of Flexitank. The installation process usually takes place in warehouses and container depots, being the last, the most desirable option. We must verify the suitability of the container, line the inside of protective material, place the flexitank and the bulkhead and make sure everything is in perfect condition.
Then the container is brought to the place of loading, where the filling process is very simple, especially with flexitanks with bottom loading system. Simply open the right doorof the container, placing the pump to the valve and after about 30 minutes (depending on the capacity of the pump and the viscosity of the liquid) is already filled the flexitank. It is very important to respect the parameters of loading and never open the left door of the container.
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
Once flexitank reaches the destination, simply open the right door, connect the hose to the drain pump and valve and wait until flexitank is empty. The process may take between 30 and 60 minutes, depending both on the capacity of the pump and theviscosity of the product.
When flexitank is almost empty and to avoid losses, it is best to double the flexitank like a tooth paste tube is involved. This will push the remaining product into the mouth of flexitank and can be downloaded completely.
After draining the flexitank, TIBA or our agents can take care of removing flexitank from the container and proceed to destroy with all respect to the environment.
In fact, unlike the multi-party flexitank, in our case both the pure polyethylene which is made of Flexitank as steel bulkhead are 100% recyclable materials, our solution comply with the strictest environmental standards.
Contact us, we will resolve any questions you have about how to transport your bulk liquids.
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