Tote Talk Blog

Custom Stainless Steel IBCs


stainless steel IBCsFor most businesses using stainless steel Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs), a standard tote configuration will suit their needs. Standard totes are the most cost effective and have the shortest lead times. Occasionally, a standard tote design does not meet the requirements of a specific application, and a custom IBC must be fabricated. Custom built IBCs can be configured in many different ways.  Some of the more common customization options include various sanitary fittings, level indicators, and additional fittings in the tank top.

Sanitary Features

A common modification to a stainless steel IBC is the addition of sanitary features.  One feature includes replacing the threaded fittings on the tote, such as the 2” bung and 3” nipple, with tri-clamp sanitary connections. Using tri-clamp fittings removes all the threading on the tote and eliminates the possibility of product getting stuck in the threads.  Another option is to grind and polish the interior welds.   This will add to the cost of the tank, but will further reducing the risk of contamination.  A butterfly valve is commonly used in place of the standard ball valve . 

Level Indicators

float gaugeAnother custom feature is to add a sight glass or float gauge to the tote to monitor the level of liquid inside. With a standard IBC it is difficult to see how much liquid is inside the tote without opening up the tote and looking inside. Level indicators solve this problem. Sight glasses can be installed along the side of the tote and provide an exact measurement of how much product is left. Float gauges are a more budget friendly alternative and provide an estimate of the amount of product left in the IBC. Float gauges are installed in a 2” bung on the top of the tote and show approximately how much liquid is in the tote, such as ½ full, ¼ full, etc.

Pressure/vacuum relief vents

5-in-1 ventA popular option is adding a pressure/vacuum relief vents to stainless steel IBCs as an added safety measure. These vents are typically installed in a 2” bung on the top of the tote, and can easily be replaced as needed. The standard settings for the vents are to relieve pressure at 5.0 PSI, and provide vacuum relief at 0.5 PSI.  An alternative to the 2” pressure/vacuum relief vents is to install a 3” 5-in-1 vent.  The 3” 5-in-1 vent is installed in place of the 3” fusible cap in the center of the drum cover. The 5-in-1 vent acts as a fill cap, fusible vent, pressure and vacuum relief vent (as discussed above), and provides roll-over protection.  

For the vast majority of applications, the standard stainless steel tote will suit their needs and provides the most cost effective option. For some applications, a custom IBC will be needed to meet the requirements of their process. Sanitary features, level indicators, and pressure/vacuum relief vents are a few of the more common customization options. A reliable tote supply company will be able to work with you to determine what options are best for your unique needs, and provide a customized tote that meets those specifications. To get all your intermediate bulk container questions answered, send us an email, or call us today at 1-800-634-4128.

drums vs ibcs

Topics: IBC totes

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