The flexitank, also called flexibag or flexitanque, is a flexible tank bag made of special polymer materials which is used for transportation of liquid cargoes in containers.
Flexitank allows carrying cargoes between 10,000 and 24,000 liters, although the most common models are 16,000, 18,000, 20,000, 22,000 and 24,000 liters. Depending on the density of your cargo we’ll help you to choose the most appropriate type of flexitank.
Here are the most common sizes of flexitanks:

  • Flexitank for transportation of glycerin: 22000 l
  • Flexitank for transportation wine: 24000 l
  • Flexitank for transportation of sunflower oil: 22000L
  • Flexitank for transportation of olive oil: 22000l
  • Flexitank for transportation of palm oil: 21000l
  • Flexitank for transportation of polyol: 19000l
  • Flexitank for transportation of latex: 19000l

In the past flexitanks were used multiple times and were cleaned after use, which was inconvenient. However, since the mid 90’s only single-use flexitanks are made. Thus, the exporter can be completely sure that there will be no contamination or a residue from the previous cargo.
Types of flexitanks
Depending on the number of layers it is made of, there are three types of flexitanks:

  • Multilayer flexitanks: they have 4 and 5 layers of polyethylene. The main advantage of the multilayer flexitanks is that each layer is very thin and flexible, which makes cargo unloading much easier.
  • Monolayer flexitanks: This type of equipment is made of a single layer of polyethylene, but its density is  thicker than multilayer flexitank has, and thus monolayer flexitank is less flexible. Its main advantage is the absence of the space between the layers which provides the complete safety of goods.
  • Bilayer flexitanks: they are made of two layers of polyethylene. The first one is the same as multilayer flexitank has – thin and flexible, and the second one as hard as monolayer, which protects the inside part of flexitank from the irregularities of the container.

Loading / unloading of flexitanks:

  • Top loading / unloading: if the flexitank is equipped with a valve on top of it, an operator must climb above the bulkhead to connect and disconnect the hose both for loading and unloading.
  • Bottom loading / unloading: in this case the valve is located on the bottom front of the flexitank and passes through the bulkhead, which is simple and safe way to connect the hose to load for loading and unloading.

What liquids can be transported in a flexitank?
In general, any non-dangerous liquids can be transported in such a way. Below there is a non-exhaustive list of the goods that can be transported in a flexitank:

  • White oils
  • Palm oil
  • Ricinoleic acid
  • Transformer oils
  • Edible oils
  • Lactic acid
  • Vegetable oils
  • Additives
  • Drinking water
  • Waxes
  • Aluminum chlorohydroxide
  • Fruit concentrates
  • Detergents
  • Sweeteners
  • Emulsions
  • Malt extract
  • Glycerols
  • Natural latex
  • Synthetic latex
  • Lubricants
  • Musts
  • Paraffins
  • Polyols
  • Non-hazardous chemicals
  • Sorbitol
  • Printing Ink
  • Wine
  • and much more …

 
ADVANTAGES OF FLEXITANK
The transportation in the flexitank is very interesting both for cost and for environmental reasons. Its main advantages are:

  • The cargo is sealed, therefore it won’t be contaminated.
  • Low installing costs.
  • No need to clean and return empty equipment.
  • Flexitank installation with 24 000 liters volume allows transporting 40% more cargo than in barrels and 50% more than in bottles.
  • High speed of liquids loading and emptying.
  • Door to door cargo transportation without additional transshipments.
  • Maximal using of container’s working volume.
  • Wide range of application.

 
USING THE FLEXITANK
Flexitank is installed in a shipping container. The process should be performed only by qualified personnel and approved by the manufacturer of Flexitank. The installation process usually takes place in warehouses and container depots, being the most desirable option. In order to install the flexitank one should verify the suitability of the container, level the inside surface of container, top the container with protective material, place the flexitank and the bulkhead and make sure everything is in perfect condition. After that container is delivered to the loading place where it is filled.
TRANSPORTATION OF FLEXITANK
Once loaded, the transportation of container is the same as in all other cases. Not all flexitanks manufacturers are certified by all shipping lines and not all of them have passed the stress tests of the COA (Container Owners Association). Therefore it is important to ensure the chosen flexitank is allowed for transportation by sea without problems.
If the container is eventually transported by rail the forwarder should ensure that flexitank manufacturer is approved specifically for the rail system.
DISCHARGING THE FLEXITANK
Once flexitank reaches the destination, one should simply open the door of the container, connect the hose to the drain pump and valve and wait until flexitank is empty. The process may take between 30 and 60 minutes, depending both on the capacity of the pump and the viscosity of the product. After emptying of flexitank, our stuff can take care of removing flexitank from the container and its further utilization with all respect to the environment.

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