[ID] => 9843
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2018-07-17 09:23:17
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-17 08:23:17
[post_content] => Readers of HCB know – or at least should know – that flexitanks are not authorised for the transport of dangerous goods. The primary reason for that is that flexitanks, which are seen as a cost-effective alternative to transport in tank containers, are prone to failure. While there has been some improvement in quality, it is unlikely that there will be any change in the regulations regarding their use for dangerous goods.
However, many of the substances that are carried in flexitanks have the potential to cause problems in the event of a leak, even if they are not designated as dangerous goods. In order to clarify matters for chemical shippers tempted to use flexitanks, the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) has published a first edition of Best Practice Guidelines for loading, transport and unloading of flexitanks
In its introduction, the Guidelines state: “In the early days, a flexitank damage resulted in leaks, loss of cargo and subsequent clean-up activities. The root cause was typically attributed to inappropriate handling and fitting and impact forces during transport of the flexitank. In recent years, flexitank producers and operators have achieved major improvements in bag manufacturing, container selection criteria, as well as safe loading and unloading practices, which have led to a reduction of the number of spills and leaks.”
Indeed, the Guidelines say, these improvements have led to a significant increase in the number of flexitank movements over the past decade and it is forecast that by 2020 there will be more than 1 million such movements each year.
However, the Guidelines go on: “Incidents involving flexitanks pose a higher risk to result in a loss of containment compared to tank containers. The use of flexitanks for the carriage of non-dangerous liquid chemicals should therefore only be carried out with the appropriate equipment and following the right operating procedures.”
WHAT’S NOT GOOD IN A FLEXI
The Guidelines are quite clear that any product classified as a dangerous good under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code or other international regulation is not allowed for transport in flexitanks.
Great care should also be taken with combustible substances with a flashpoint higher than 60˚C and equal to or lower than 93˚C. “In general transportation in flexitanks is not recommended,” the Guidelines state. “It is a company decision to deviate from this recommendation after having carried out an in-depth risk assessment.”
A special risk assessment is also recommended in the case of substances that need to be heated before discharge. The temperature of the flexitank must not exceed the temperature specified by the manufacturer, which should be in line with the PAS 1008 standard.
Finally, there are products classified according to the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of classification and labelling of chemicals that are not designated as dangerous in transport but which nevertheless present a health or environmental hazard; in Europe, this means any product that has an ‘H’ statement under the CLP Regulation. Specifically, Cefic says, those that have at least one H phrase relating to genetic defects, cancer, fertility, harm to breast-fed children, damage to organs, respiratory irritation or damage to the aquatic environment are not recommended for transport in flexitanks.
The Guidelines provide a series of checklists to enable those using flexitanks to do so as safely as possible, with due regard to cargo restrictions.
The Cefic Guidelines can be freely downloaded from the Cefic website
[post_title] => Flexitanks: A limit on bags
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => flexitanks-limit-bags
[post_modified] => 2018-07-16 18:26:41
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-16 17:26:41
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=9843
[menu_order] => 0
[post_type] => post
[comment_count] => 0
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Flexitanks: A limit on bags
Experience with the use of flexitanks has improved their safety record but, as Cefic notes, their use with non-dangerous chemicals is still risky