Tote Talk Blog

UN/DOT Requirements for Stainless Steel IBCs

When shipping regulated products, as determined by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT),  it is necessary to select a container that is certified to transport regulated materials. A common solution is to ship regulated products using stainless steel tote tanks. Stainless steel totes are compatible with many different types of products, and are often designed to be compliant with DOT requirements. Three key features of UN/DOT certified IBCs are totes with current test dates, a fusible vent installed in the top, and a secondary closure on the outlet. 

UN/DOT 30-month and 60-month Tests

Stainless steel tote tanks that are certified to UN/DOT standards are required to be tested every 30 months. A proper 30-month inspection will include a complete leakproofness test and an extensive visual inspection of the tank. A metal thickness test is required every 60 months. To maintain UN/DOT compliance, companies using totes to transport regulated products should follow a regular inspection program and carefully document all testing procedures and the associated results. It is good practice to obtain the current test certificate from the facility doing the inspection. An IBC without a valid test certificate cannot be used for the transportation of regulated products.

Fusible Vents for UN/DOT Rated IBCs

The 3” fusible vent typically found in the center of the lid of a stainless steel tote is an important feature for complying with DOT regulations. The Department of Transportation regulations state in section DOT CFR 178.705 (2)(i) that "IBCs must be capable of releasing a sufficient amount of vapor in the event of fire engulfment to ensure that no rupture of the body will occur due to pressure build-up."

Manufacturers of IBCs have determined that using a fusible vent is the best method available for safely releasing excess vapor in emergency situations. When the intermediate bulk container is exposed to excessive heat, the fusible vent is designed to melt away to allow the inner core to fall into the tank, allowing the vapors to be released. This alleviates the intense pressure build up inside the stainless steel IBC and significantly reduces the likelihood of explosion. (It is important to note that the vents are designed to alleviate pressure in emergency situations only and do not function as a relief vent for common pressure buildup.)

Secondary Closure for Outlet on UN/DOT Rated IBCs


Stainless Steel IBC Rental Advantages

Renting stainless steel IBCs is ideal for companies seeking reliable and cost-effective containers for shipping and storing large volumes of liquid products. From the outset, an IBC is a better sustainable choice than a drum because one 350-gallon IBC has more capacity than six drums, meaning fewer resources are used to transport the same volume of liquid. IBC rentals enable companies to utilize the full advantage of tote tanks without the significant investment involved of purchasing totes. 

Choosing a Stainless Steel IBC Size

Intermediate Bulk Container (IBCs) are UN/DOT certified tanks that are available in a variety of sizes and are used for transporting and storing liquids for numerous industries. Before purchasing an IBC, a number of factors need to be considered to determine what the ideal tote size will be for your operation. It’s important to carefully select the optimal tote capacity so that space is efficiently utilized when storing and shipping liquids.


Top Three Benefits of Poly Composite IBCs

Poly Composite IBCs are an alternative to using drums when transporting liquids.  There are a number of advantages to using poly composite IBCs, including low cost, no return freight and ready availability.  The large size and low cost make these intermediate bulk containers a very attractive option for companies looking for an efficient and cost effective method to ship liquids. 


Reconditioned Stainless Steel IBCs

Industry leaders know that stainless steel IBCs (IBCs) are an efficient and cost effective option for the bulk storage and transportation of liquids. Many companies have already reduced costs by switching from drums to IBCs.  Additional value can be gained by choosing qualified reconditioned stainless steel IBCs when available. Reconditioned IBCs offer all the advantages of new tote tanks, but with a significantly reduced cost.


Benefits of Using IBCs for the Storage of Pharmaceutical Intermediates

Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) are an excellent storage solution for companies in the pharmaceutical intermediates industry. There are several key benefits that make using IBCs an attractive storage option for companies in this rapidly growing industry. As companies expand and storage needs increase, it becomes increasingly important to pay attention to optimizing material handling and storage. Intermediate Bulk Containers provide several key benefits as a storage option.


Top 5 Reasons To Rent Stainless Steel IBC Tote Tanks

Stainless steel tote tanks are the most efficient form of packaging to move or store your liquid products. The question often comes up: "Should we buy or rent the totes?" We're here to help, so we've compiled the top reasons for both buying and renting so that you can determine which is best for you


IBC Tote Dimensions & Sizes

IBC totes are available in a variety of sizes. Stainless steel tote tanks are available in sizes ranging from 180 gallons to 550 gallons. IBCs are DOT/UN certified tanks that are ideal for transporting and storing liquids for a variety of industries, including industrial chemicals. To utilize the space efficiently when storing and shipping liquid materials, it’s important to familiarize yourself with common IBC tote dimensions.


Types of Steel used for IBCs

There are two basic types of steel to choose from when picking the right Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) for your operation: carbon steel and stainless steel.   All types of steel are made of a combination of iron and carbon.  Stainless steels  (304 stainless steel, and 316 stainless steel) are differentiated by the addition of alloys, such as chromium, which alter the physical properties of the steel.  While 304 stainless steel is by far the most common material used, it is important to choose whichever steel is best suited for your unique needs. 


IBC Industry Forecast

The industrial bulk packaging market has been growing steadily over the past 5 years, and is expected to continue growing into the foreseeable future.  Market research conducted by Smithers found that demand for bulk packaging is forecasted to continue increasing at a rate of 3.4% per year through 2020.  Further, research conducted by Fredonia Group shows that the rate at which the bulk packaging market is growing is higher now than it was just 10 years ago.  Among all industrial packaging products, IBCs have exhibited the fastest rate of growth.  IBC growth can be contributed to several factors, including a need for high performance packaging solutions, a growth in the domestic chemicals industry, an optimal packaging design, and an increase in sustainability initiatives.



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