Types of Dunnage Air Bags
There are multiple types of dunnage air bags that can help you improve your shipment stability and prevent product damage. If you already know that dunnage air bags are the right solution, it’s time to decide which dunnage air bag you’re going to use. You’ll need to pick the right dunnage air bag for your application based on the conditions it will be exposed to during transit.
Choosing the proper dunnage air bag will ensure your products stay put, while the wrong selection might leave items susceptible to damage. Let’s look at the different types of dunnage air bags available, so you can make the right decision for your packaging strategy.
Polywoven dunnage air bags are made with a tightly sealed inner layer of polyethylene and a strong poly woven outer fabric. These bags are best used for medium to heavy-duty loads, especially for items shipped by railcar. Unlike some types of dunnage air bags, poly woven bags offer resistance to weather conditions and harsh chemical environments. They are also much lighter than paper dunnage air bags and other bracing tactics, making them easy to work with during loading and unloading. Polywoven dunnage air bags have outstanding load stabilizing capabilities and high resistance to load shifting.
Vinyl dunnage air bags offer unique capabilities because of the natural elasticity of vinyl material. As this type of dunnage air bag is inflated, it will conform to the shape of the products it’s protecting. This allows you to carefully protect and brace loads with odd configurations and shapes without special equipment or storage methods. Vinyl dunnage air bags will also expand and contract with changes in altitude, which makes them useful for shipment that will cross through mountain ranges. In addition to their flexibility, vinyl dunnage air bags are also waterproof. This allows them to be used effectively for refrigerated transport where moisture can become a hassle.
Paper dunnage air bags typically have an outer layer formed with multiple layers of kraft paper and an inner bladder formed with polyethylene to preserve air pressure. This type of dunnage air bag is considered the most economical option, and it comes in multiple sizes and strengths to meet different shipping requirements. Paper dunnage air bags help prevent side-to-side movement and end-to-end movement while holding your items in place. They are recyclable and easy to dispose of after use, making them a convenient method for protecting and bracing items in transit. They’re typically used to fill void space inside freight carriers.
Specialty Dunnage Air Bags
In addition to the three main types of dunnage bags mentioned above, there are a few specialty options designed for specific purposes.
Square dunnage air bags, like in the image above, are made for applications that involve a void space greater than 12 inches wide. The square shape of the bag allows it to cover more product surface area without needing extra materials.
Abrasion-resistant paper dunnage air bags are made to be more durable than typical paper bags, allowing them to stand up during the application process for better positioning. They help eliminate the chafing effect that’s often caused in shipping.
Bison poly woven dunnage airbags are durable and resistant to load shifting during transit. They can withstand heavy pressure due to their carefully designed structure. This type of dunnage airbag is made with an airtight polyethylene inner layer, which features an inflating and deflating valve, and an elastic poly woven fabric outer layer.
Finding the Right Dunnage Air Bag
Each type of dunnage air bag has specific benefits and challenges to bring to your packaging and shipping strategy. Finding the right dunnage air bag for your application starts by understanding how your products travel, whether you use railcars, freight trucks, or cargo ships. Once you know the conditions your packages will be exposed to, you can select the right type of dunnage air bag to fill void space and brace pallets effectively.