Tag Archives: load protection

Securing loads with Airbags

When determining the right packaging, many aspects must be taken into account. One of them is the fixation and adjustment of loads. For this purpose, multiple systems and pneumatic elements are used to ensure that our shipment arrives in optimal conditions.

One of the most commonly used are dunnage bags or airbags for packaging.

Securing loads with Airbags

What are packaging airbags?

Packaging airbags, dunnage bags or inflatable bags are used to protect goods during transport. Their function is to fill the empty spaces between the cargo or between the cargo and the walls of the transport unit, keeping it immobile in order to reduce the possibility of damage during transport.

These bags are very easy to use. They are filled with air through a valve to the required pressure. Airbags are available in different sizes, depending on the use and load.

Securing loads with Airbags

Which airbag do I need to protect my cargo?

Airbags can be used in land, sea or rail transport. To know what type of airbag we will need, the first thing we must know is the volume and weight of the cargo to be transported (to define the working pressure of the airbag), as well as the operating time of this airbag. Once these parameters have been set, we will check the manufacturer’s technical data sheet to see if it adapts to our needs.

Most manufacturers comply with the AAR Bulletin No. 9 (Association of American Railroads), the most widespread international standard, which classifies these pneumatic elements into 5 levels, according to the type of transport and the operating pressure.

Securing loads with Airbags

As shown in the table, the different types of transport are classified according to the working pressure. This is because this standard contemplates pressure tests after 19 days, allowing a load loss of no more than 1psi. In other words, for long transports we must generally use level 2 airbags or higher (more working pressure).

Once we have defined the type of air bag we need, we will have to design a system of loads as homogeneous as possible, using these elements to adjust the loads.

To do this, we can take into account the guidelines of the CTU 2014 code, which, among other issues, details the different misuses that can occur when applying this system.

Securing loads with Airbags

Types of airbags and characteristics

They can be made of different materials, depending on their resistance to external agents in case of possible rupture.

There are basically two types, depending on the material they are made of:

  • Raffia:

These are bags or sacks consisting of an inner layer of polyethylene and a top layer of raffia, a type of elastic fabric widely used for packaging due to its resistance.

  • Kraft paper:

They have an inner layer of polyethylene and a top layer of Kraft paper reinforced with polypropylene to prevent tearing.

In both cases, they are durable, reusable and waterproof, providing an efficient solution to protect cargo during transportation.

 

If you need advice, consult a reliable supplier to help you choose the best option.

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Aluminium Foil Barrier

The Heat-Sealable bag, Insulating bag or Aluminium Foil barrier material is a widely used element in packaging to prevent corrosion, especially when it comes to metal packaging and electronic items.

Aluminium Foil Barrier

It is used in conjunction with desiccant salts precisely to prevent moisture from oxidizing the metal on long ship voyages, but is also used for long-term protection of machinery and other products, for example, for storage if long-term storage is planned.

 

 

COMPOSITION

This material is mainly composed of aluminum and polyethylene. Depending on the manufacturer, the proportion of each material and even the type of plastic used may vary. For example, sometimes polyester, PET plastic or polypropylene are added. As for polyethylene, it can be of high or low density.

Some barrier materials have more plastic than aluminum or vice versa. The quality and correct protection of the product will depend to a large extent on the total thickness of the barrier film from which the bags are made and how many grams it weighs per square meter, as well as the proportion of aluminum it contains. The more aluminum the material contains to the detriment of plastic, the lower the vapor transmission inside the container.

This material is waterproof and resistant to external factors such as ultraviolet rays.

 

PRESENTATION

Generally we can find this material in rolls whose measures can vary according to the customer’s needs, although it is also common to find manufacturers and companies that sell ready-made bags with the measures that the customer deems appropriate.

Aluminium Foil Barrier

The aluminium foil barrier bag can also be vacuum sealed if desired, with the help of special machines that absorb oxygen from inside the bag. In this way, the product is better protected against oxidation.

There are several ways of sealing this bag. As its name suggests, the most common way is with heat, although we can also opt for plastic closures that seal the container.

This material can also be printed, so it is common for a company to print its own corporate logo, as well as the specifications of the material and the temperature to which it must be subjected for sealing.

This material must be manufactured in compliance with DIN 55531-1, which is the German and European standard in general.

 

Other world standards equivalent to this norm that can be found are the following:

  • USA: MIL-B-131.
  • France: NF H 00310.
  • Germany (military classification): TL 8135-0003.
  • United Kingdom (military classification): DEF STAN 81-75/1.
Aluminium Foil Barrier

To conclude, it is convenient to point out the main difference between aluminum barrier material and other plastic materials that we will see later, such as shrink film or VCI. For long boat trips, adverse weather conditions or long storage periods, aluminum is the most convenient option for the correct protection of the product against plastic compounds, since it is much more resistant.

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