Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs), also commonly known as tote tanks, are containers that are used to store and ship large quantities of liquids. Companies in a wide range of industries, including fragrance, personal care, food and beverage, and industrial chemicals, have relied on tote tanks to provide them with quality service in storing and transporting their liquid products. Adhering to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations that govern shipping of regulated products can mitigate the risks that come from transporting regulated liquid products in ss IBCs.
Stainless steel IBCs are UN/DOT certified to transport regulated products in packaging groups II and III.
Using the correct packaging ensures the shipper that all risks are being properly managed. The DOT regulations govern the products and the packaging for the transportation of these products, but they do not regulate the storage of such materials. This is what NFPA 30 is designed to do.
So what is NFPA 30?
Enforceable under OSHA and many state and local regulations, NFPA 30 provides safeguards to reduce the hazards associated with the storage, handling, and use of flammable and combustible liquids.
Local Fire Marshals and many insurance companies will use NFPA 30 guidelines when they are determining the safe storage of regulated products. The code provides a great deal of information regarding specific steps to be taken for each type of IBC and the chemical contained within them.
One of the biggest concerns for local fire marshals in terms of chemical storage is fire. Fortunately, stainless steel IBCs contribute to the protection against fire. The construction of the stainless steel IBCs is built in favor of preventing the tote tank from becoming explosive. Thanks to the fusible vent (which is a DOT requirement) which can be found on the drum cover; the worries of explosion can be put to rest.
The fusible vent allows vapor to escape the tote tank when the internal temperature of the tote tank reaches a certain level. When the IBC becomes too hot, the fusible link melts away, causing the core to fall into the tank. This releases the pressure build up inside of the IBC, which in turn prevents the tote tank from exploding. Required by the UN/DOT, fusible vents are a necessary safety feature for any stainless steel IBC.