How To Prepare A Flexitank Container
When preparing a flexitank, it is critical that the shipping container in which the flexitank will be placed, be prepared properly and thoroughly before putting a flexitank inside. This crucial preparation important so that container flaws, puncturing or damaging of the flexitank is avoided. It is always important to note, that if the walls or the floor of the container are in bad condition, you should not use the it for storing or transporting flexitanks.
In selecting a container for flexitank shipments, make sure to select a 20-foot dry freight container that is less than five years of age (you can find the date by checking the date plate on the container). Containers selected for flexitank transport should have a gross rating of not less than 30 tons.
Related Topic: What Liquids Can be Transported in a Flexitank
Here are the five steps you should take when preparing a flexitank container:
1. Clean the Container
Firstly, when you open the container, you need to sweep out any dust or dirt which may have accumulated inside the shipping container. As you sweep, visually inspect the floor for any rough edges or sharp objects, carefully checking the container floor for any screws, nails or any other sharp object that could puncture the flexitank. If any sharp objects are detected those need to be removed from the container immediately. Also, if you find any rough spots use the duct tape or corrugation to smoothen it out.
Once finished sweeping, there should be no dirt or dust inside the container. Ensuring that you have a properly cleaned container means that you will have a clean, safe and hygienic environment for your cargo. It is vital to clean the container properly to avoid any possible contamination from an unclean container.
2. Ensure There are no Rough Edges
Secondly, you must ensure that there are no rough edges inside the container, as these can cause chaffing or the flexitank. If you do find any rough edges (such as the welds of the container), don’t worry – you can cover these using duct tape. Simply use your hand to feel the walls of the container to detect any rough edges.
The container walls need to be covered with double fluted corrugated paper and secured to the wall with the tape provided. This assists in keeping the flexitank safe during transport and prevents the rough welds from chafing the flexitank.
3. Seal Container Welds
There are usually two welds on each of the container sides and two on the front wall. It is important to cover the corner welds with duct tape. You should apply the duct tape from the floor of the container to around three quarters of the wall. Sealing the rough welds assists in preventing the chafing of the flexitank.
4. Installing The Flexitank
Before installing the flexitank, the box should be checked for any crush or penetration damage. If any such damage is observed, the flexitank should be replaced immediately. Remove the flexitank from the cardboard box and place on the right-hand side of the container floor (as shown in the photo below). Then, unfold the flexitank toward the nose end, carefully unrolling so that it is evenly placed and symmetrical inside the container. Finally, push the longitude low folds out to the walls and ensure that excess flaps on each side are equal in size.
The ergonomic design of the SIA Global Tank means that it comes pre-folded to the exact dimension of the containers so it is extremely easy to install
5. Bulkhead Installation
Carefully inspect the flexitank for any scuffs, holes or any other signs of damage, making sure the valve is situated on the right-hand side towards the container door. You are now ready to install the bulkhead, of which the assembly consists of:
- 1 bulkhead sheet
- 1 ‘Adjustable’ bar
- 4 ‘Floating’ bars
Firstly, place the bulkhead sheet into position and make sure that the fold on the bottom is placed under the flexitank. Next, insert the adjustable bar and make sure that the adjustable section is placed on the left-hand side. Thirdly, press the button and retract the small inner bar and place under the bar in the shoring slot and release the inner bar into position.
Place the second bar into the shoring slot and fix to the Velcro straps as shown. Replace the process for bars 3, 4 & 5. Place the door buffers along the center line. The door buffers are used for the top four bars only. Do not place a door buffer on the bottom bar.
The valve and the valve retention plate assembly are now ready for fitting. Pull the valve through the precut hole in the bulkhead sheet. Place the clip around the valve into the prepared slot and secure with cable ties provided.
Your Flexitank Container is Ready to be Loaded
Prior to loading, ensure that the left-hand door is closed and sealed at all times. Connect the loading hose with the female cam-lock connected to the male adaptor of the flexitank valve. It is always good practice to perch the loading line of any excess air prior to connection of the flexitank. This will ensure that air is not blown into the flexitank ahead of the product. Once connected, secure with a cable tie.
Ensure the valve is in the open position and the discharging hose is in the horizontal position. Lift the knob on top of the valve and open as shown. Turn knob to lock valve in the open position for loading and start loading slowly.
The minimum load is 95% of the flexitank capacity and the maximum temperature is 65 degrees. When the loading has completed, close the valve and drain the loading hose. Then, disconnect the hose from the flexitank valve and ensure that the valve is in the closed position. Lock the valve by lifting the knob and return the handle to the closed position.
Release the knob and lock in place and insert the yellow cap as shown. Tighten with the special tool provided and then fit the dust cap. Finally, close the container door and seal the container with a container seal.
Important to Note
It is important that you carefully check the container to ensure that it passes all of the required safety standards before loading a flexitank. If the container does not meet the vital requirements, it is important to reject the container immediately and find another one.
Container Checklist for Flexitanks
- 20-foot dry freight container that is less than five years of age
- A gross rating of not less than 30 tons
- Clean and dust free
- No rough edges or objects
SIA are a member of the COA – Container Owner Association who are committed to safe and reliable container operations who work with Flexitank manufacturers to implement quality management standards.
SIA Flexitank Installation Video