Shipping liquid dangerous goods by air may require additional packaging that is far more restrictive than road and sea. IATA packaging instruction 351 requires “inner packaging must be packed with sufficient absorbent material to absorb the entire content of the inner packaging and placed in a rigid leakproof receptacle before packaging in outer packaging”. Similarly, IATA 220.127.116.11.2 states: “In addition, for liquid substances, closures must be held securely, tightly, and effectively in place by secondary means”.
Vermiculite is a commonly used material for packaging that fulfills these requirements since it is lightweight, compressible, and absorbent. Most 4GV (variable packaging) requires the use of vermiculite due to its great absorption rate (approx. 7g/ml may vary by grade), stability, and low reactivity to chemicals.
Advantages of Using Vermiculite
Absorbent: The primary benefit of using vermiculite when shipping liquid goods is its ability to absorb moisture. Due to its structure, this packaging material draws in moisture and keeps it away from items. Additionally, vermiculite with its ability to absorb liquids can also control spills, should they happen.
Chemically inert: Vermiculite is entirely non-reactive to chemicals and in case of a spill, will not lead to dangerous reactions when exposed to the liquid being shipped.
Lightweight: Vermiculite is lightweight and offers considerable savings especially when shipping in bulk.
Compressible: The structure of vermiculite allows for it to be compressed and re-expand. This makes it ideal for impact cushioning since it can absorb shock and return to its original form.
Flame Retardant: Since it’s flame-retardant, vermiculite is ideal for shipping materials that are flammable.
Different Vermiculite Grade
There are two grades for vermiculite that should be used when shipping liquid dangerous goods.
Grade A4: This grade of vermiculite is ideal for most demanding shipping applications since it is the coarsest with the least amount of dust. ICC stocks grade A4 vermiculite for shipping dangerous goods by air. Vermiculite is a mandatory requirement of IATA, UPS and FedEx when shipping hazardous liquids in glass bottles.
Grade A3: This grade is slightly smaller than A4 and offers less performance.
If you have any questions regarding vermiculite and want to know if this is the right packaging option for you, contact us today!
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Vermiculite, Grade A4, 4 Cu. Ft.
IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, Perfect Bound, English