Testing Fabric Weight
The Importance of Testing Your Fabric Weight
Now that you know what you need to know about fabric weights from our previous newsletter, Understanding Fabric Weights, it’s important to routinely check your bulk bags to ensure that your bag weights meet the written specifications provided by your bag supplier. With fabric weights being the largest cost component of an FIBC, the easiest way to cut costs is to downgauge fabric weights.
While it is not a common practice amongst reputable bag suppliers, we do often see discrepancies between a customer’s written specifications and the actual bag being provided by the manufacturer. Suppliers may reduce the fabric weights, length of components, and/or eliminate components altogether without the knowledge of an end-user. This practice, which is often used to manipulate pricing, can lead to catastrophic bag failures resulting in costly spills, personnel injuries, or loss of life.
How to Check Fabric Weight
The process for testing the fabric weight of a finished bulk bag is simple. You will need:
- A Fabric Sampler Cutter
- A high precision digital gram scale
Using the fabric cutter, cut several swatches of fabric from each of the various components of the FIBC. Make sure that samples are collected from the body panels, top panel, and bottom panel. It is important to segregate the swatches, noting which area of the bag they were cut, so that each component of the bag can be weighed separately.*
Now that the swatches have been cut and sorted, place each sample on your digital gram scale, multiply the number shown by 100 to convert the measurement to grams per square inch (gsm), and record the measurements properly. To convert the gsm measurements to ounces, a textile and fabric weight converter can be found here. After all of the samples have been weighed and the weights have been recorded, refer to the written specifications provided by your bag supplier to compare the findings. The non-load bearing components (top panel, fill and discharge spouts, baffles, etc.) of the bag will likely be made of lighter weights fabrics which is a standard manufacturing practice.
Have FlexSack Test Your Bag
If testing your FIBC in-house is not possible, let the FlexSack team handle your bag testing for you! We can have one of our bulk bag sales experts review your current bulk bag, weigh all components, and provide you with a detailed written specification and bag diagram at no charge.
Please contact us to learn more about this service.
*For tubular bags, make sure not to cut swatches that overlap into the area directly under the lift loops. This area will include reinforcement fabric resulting in a heavier fabric weight than the main body of the bag.
TALK WITH ONE OF OUR FLEXSACK EXPERTS