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Biographie What Is An Intermediate Bulk Container?
Industrial Grade Reusable ContainersAn intermediate bulk container (or IBC) is a pallet mounted, industrial grade reusable container that is used for storing and transporting bulk liquids and powders. Also known as a tote, the IBC is capable of stacking and can be moved by a pallet jack or forklift.
The three broad types of IBCs in use today can be categorized under rigid, folding and flexible.

The term ‘intermediate’ comes from the volume that intermediate bulk containers carry, which sits in between that of tanks and drums. The two most common volumes of the rigid IBC are 275 gallons and 330 gallons.

Common Uses

IBCs are used for the transport and storage of:





Food ingredients



Intermediate bulk containers have all also been used in unique areas such as aquaponics, general bulk storage, and the collecting of rainwater for drinking or harvesting.
This depends on many factors including whether the IBC will be reused or not, the durability needed and legal requirements. In the case of cube shaped rigid IBCs, the inner containers are often made from a plastic such as polyethylene or high density polyethylene (HDPE). They are also available in other materials such as aluminum or galvanized iron. TranPak’s IBCs are made of HDPE. The rigid outer container or cage is usually made from galvanized tubular steel or iron. Folding IBCs don’t have a rigid outer cage and are made of very durable plastic that folds inward when empty. Flexible IBCs or bulk bags are made from various heavy duty materials such as woven polypropylene or polyethylene.IBCs are a very cost effective way to safely move a variety of products from point A to point B.
Cube shaped rigid IBCs often have a standard footprint of 48″x40″ which enables easy shipping, conveying and transport due to it being a common pallet size in North America and other countries.
There is a tap or valve at the base where a hose can be attached to allow easy transfer of contents into smaller containers for easy packaging, distribution and sale in your target location. This is important when certain packaging and legal requirements need to be ensured locally.
Cube shaped rigid IBCs can be stacked for optimal use of space during shipping and storage. Both folding and flexible IBCs use even less space once empty on return journeys which is a bonus however they are not suitable for all kinds of substances. Nor are they as durable as a rigid intermediate bulk container. IBCs are more effective than round tanks as more of them can occupy the same space.

IBC Heaters

Storing your materials in IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers) has a number of advantages compared to drums and other types of containers.

The cubic shape of the IBCs allows the storage space to be used much more efficiently than, for example, with cylindrical drums. In addition, filling and emptying of the IBC occurs much faster than with other containers. Most IBCs are easy to clean after use, and can therefore be used multiple times.

If you also prefer to store your substances in IBCs and wonder how to keep their contents warm in a safe and efficient way, the HeatXperts IBC heaters are the perfect solution for you.

IBC heaters are a special type of heating jackets designed to keep the contents of an IBC tank safe and warm and prevent frost damage, contamination or flaking of the contents.

Heating substances with an IBC heater is a quick and easy process: the heater is placed around the IBC, fastened with the straps in and switched on. Once the desired temperature is reached, it will be maintained. In this way, IBC heaters are an excellent way to ensure optimal and uniform heating of the tank contents, as well as to control viscosity, maintain the required temperature or quickly melt any solid materials.

In addition, the IBC heaters can be used to protect the tank contents against frost damage, contamination, crystallization or flaking.
Increasing the fluidity of highly viscous substances by heating them up will make filling and emptying of your IBCs a lot easier while minimizing any unnecessary product waste.

The IBC heating jackets have a number of advantages compared to other methods of keeping your materials warm, such as heat bath, heat chamber, as well as conventional fan or radiant heaters. First of all, when using an IBC heater you don't need to worry about transporting your IBCs: they can be warmed up anywhere where there is a power supply. Each time the needs to be transported, the heating jacket can simply remain mounted – just be sure to disconnect the heater from the power source before the transportation.

Secondly, the IBC heater can be mounted and dismounted fairly quickly, as well as rolled up and stored efficiently when needed. And, last but not least – the price of an IBC is significantly lower than e.g. of a heat chamber, whereas it consumes much less energy than the alternative heating devices.

How to Tell if an IBC Tote Is Food Grade

IBC totes carrying food must be certified as food grade to prevent contamination.

There are different types of food grade totes, with the most popular being stainless steel tanks or poly-caged totes.

Food-grade totes are certified by the DOT/UN.

To tell if an IBC tote is food grade, check the sidewall for markings.

An intermediate bulk container (IBC) is a type of storage unit designed to hold various materials in a warehouse, in a storage facility or in transit. Materials that IBCs are used to store include food, liquids, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, sand, grains and more. This type of storage container is very popular because they are durable and affordable. IBCs are made from various materials, depending on the intended use. Certain types of IBC totes are food grade, meaning they can be used to store food. Food grade totes are usually marked to indicate to the user that they are safe for storing food. It’s vital that you check for this marking before it makes contact with ingestible products. Otherwise, the consumers may ingest hazardous materials. When an IBC tote is certified as Food Grade, it was manufactured using safe materials to store products for human consumption. If you’re using an IBC to store food, you shouldn’t use it for anything else because traces of other materials can remain within the container. If your business involves handling food, you must learn how to tell if an IBC tote is food grade.

Using IBCs for water tanks: What do you need to know?

Intermediate bulk containers, or IBCs, are commonly used to store industrial liquids or hazardous chemicals.

But these heavy-duty containers are also perfect for storing water.

An IBC water tank can accommodate a huge quantity of water, and its versatile design and transportability make it a great fit for this task.

IBC water tanks can be used in a wide variety of roles and are completely reusable, making them a cost-effective way to store water.

You’ll often find IBC water tanks on construction sites or in large warehouses, but they have many other uses too.

In this article, we take a look at the practicalities of using IBCs as water tanks.


Intermediate bulk containers are designed to carry large quantities of liquid or semi-solid substances, so they’re perfectly suited to storing water.

Because it is termed ‘intermediate’, an IBC is generally built to hold a capacity of 1,000 litres.

An IBC might be slightly smaller, even slightly larger, but not significantly.


A full IBC water tank at maximum capacity of 1,000 litres will weigh at least 1,000 kilos.

That is just the water, so you also need to factor in the added weight of the IBC and that can vary significantly depending on the design.

A rigid IBC is generally made of solid plastic that’s placed inside a steel cage for protection and mounted a steel pallet, which allows it to be easily transported by forklift.

These designs are robust, offering plenty of protection, but they also add weight.

A standard 1,000-litre IBC water tank weighs on average 65 kilos when empty.

Add in 1,000 litres of water, and you have a total weight of 1,065 kilos.

Flexible IBCs weigh less because they don’t have a steel cage or pallet mount and are produced from woven plastic rather than rigid.

They don’t offer nearly as much strength and protection, but they are flexible.

Flexible IBCs can weigh as little as 10 kilos, making them easier to transport and compress than a rigid IBC when empty.

Of course, when full you have to factor in the weight of the water as well.

What is an IBC water tank?

An IBC water tank is a versatile, long-lasting, yet cost-effective storage container designed to store and protect large quantities of water or other liquids.

An IBC tank (intermediate bulk container) can be used to safely store and transport a range of liquids, but is most commonly found storing drinking water. Given its UN ratings however, an IBC tank can also be used for storing hazardous waste.

In this article, we ask the experts at ITP Packaging to explain what an IBC water tank is and why they’re so popular.

What Is an IBC Water Tank?

An IBC water tank is a container designed to safely store large quantities of liquids. IBC tanks are square or rectangular in shape, and are fitted with nozzles and valves to allow liquids to be poured into the tank or emptied with ease.

The ultimate purpose of an IBC tank is to store liquids. IBC tanks are UN certified and produced from food-grade materials. They can be reused, disinfected, cleaned, repaired and eventually recycled.

IBC tanks are designed for industrial usage. As well as nozzles and valves, they’re equipped with protective cages and pallets. They can be moved around using industrial equipment (forklifts etc.) and can be stacked one on top of another for ease of storage.

What Can IBC Tanks Be Used For?

IBC tanks are most commonly associated with water storage, as they are popular containers for holding drinking water or rainwater for long-term storage.

However, these are versatile storage containers and a combination of food-grade material and UN rating ensures they can store a lot of different liquids or semi-liquids. 
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