An intermediate bulk container (or IBC) is a pallet mounted, industrial grade reusable container that is used for storing and transporting bulk liquids, granules and powders. They are suitable for a wide variety of uses which we have explored within this guide.
Key benefits of IBCs
Space-saving - Due to the cubed shape of the cages, IBCs are able to be stacked up to four high when empty, and two high when full. This enables users to maximise the volume of liquids stored in a single space.
Reusable – The durable materials used in the construction of our IBCs ensure that they are reusable at the end of their original purpose. We stock a full range of Reconditioned and Rebottled IBCs which have been cleaned and leak tested, ready to be used.
Easy access – Each IBC has a large diameter screw-cap lid and a bottom outlet valve, making cleaning, filling and emptying the IBC a simple task.
Manoeuvrable – Every IBC pallet, whether manufactured from wood, steel, plastic or a combination of materials, incorporates forklift channels to ensure the IBC is easy and safe to move using a forklift.
IBC uses and industries
Beer and Cider Making
Small breweries are recognising the benefits of polyethylene IBC tanks and the advantages that they offer for beer, wine and cider making. This includes storing and dispensing granule ingredients such as yeast and grains. Food grade tanks are also used for storing fresh beer and cider before it is canned or bottled, helping to keep the contents fresh and maintain their flavour.
Distilleries and Wineries
In addition to safe storage, our IBC are also designed for the distilling, fermentation, blending and handling of drinking water, wines and other alcoholic beverages. An IBC is the ideal solution for Wineries and Distilleries transportation requirements due to the built-in forklift channels, allowing the IBC to be safely and carefully manoeuvred.
Paints and Coatings
Paints and chemical coatings are often transported and stored in IBCs and because of the hazardous nature of these products, a UN approved IBC should always be used. Many paints and coatings are moisture and air sensitive, so the non-vented lid and butterfly valve help keep stored products in top condition. IBCs can be used throughout all parts of the paint manufacturing process, from storing the raw materials used to create paints and coating, to holding the finished product before it is packaged.
Farming and Agricultural Uses
In farming and agricultural industries, IBCs are often used for storing water to use for crop irrigation or as drinking water for livestock. They also have many uses beyond simply storing water, such as providing storage for pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers to be used on crops and fields, or being used as a bowser to store red diesel for tractors and other farm machinery.
Chemicals and Pharmaceutical Uses
Without being corroded, all types of substances highly sensitive to heat, air, water or environmental conditions can be transported safely within an IBC. All of our IBCs are fitted with lids and valves designed to securely dispense their contents when needed, making them ideal for safely storing and transporting pharmaceuticals and healthcare products. Corrosive chemicals can be stored in an IBC tank as long as the IBC has a ‘UN Approved’ certification. Usually if an IBC is stamped with the letters “UN”, it is suitable for storing hazardous goods.
Non-Mains or Off-Grid Drinking Water Storage
An IBC is an ideal storage solution for holding drinking water at locations where there is no mains water supply, such as festivals, concerts, outside catering businesses, construction sites and camp sites. A new IBC should always be used for storing drinking water.
Other Food-Safe Applications
Many food factories store ingredients, food colourings, flavours and food dyes in IBCs or use them to mix ingredients as they protect the ingredients from external environmental conditions whilst maintaining their true aroma and flavour.
IBCs are ideal for use on construction and building sites due to their hardwearing and durable nature. The heavy-duty outer cage protects the inner bottle from knocks and accidental collisions, making the IBC useful for storing large amounts of water for dust suppression, or to mix with plaster, mortar and cement. IBCs can also be used for storing waste materials such as sawdust, rubble and other fragments on-site, before they are later disposed of.