PSI Levels for Dunnage Bags

PSI Levels and Where They Can Be Found on Dunnage Bags

Dunnage bags are a versatile and easy way to fill voids in load plans, but there are user recommendations for dunnage bags the operator should follow. In this blog, we will describe the importance of filling your dunnage bags to the recommended PSI level in order to use the dunnage bag safely and obtain the optimal performance of the bag. This blog will also explain the consequences of not following the PSI level recommendations and provide some easy tips to help you get the proper PSI level when filling your dunnage bags.

What is the PSI Level of dunnage bags and where can it be found?

The dunnage bag PSI level is the measurement of air pressure within the bag measured in Pounds per Square Inch. When you fill the dunnage bag with air, the air pressure will build inside the dunnage bag, reading as the PSI. In Europe, they use the pressure measurement of kPa (kilopascals) to measure the pressure within dunnage bags. One kilopascal is equal to 0.145038 PSI. Each type of dunnage bag will have a different recommended PSI or “fill” level. The recommended PSI level should be printed on the bag itself. On our CYCLONE dunnage bags, the PSI level is printed on the front of each bag in a text box filled with user recommendations. To the right is an image depicting the user recommendations on our CYCLONE dunnage bags with the recommendations outlined in red for reference.

Consequences of not following the dunnage bag recommendations:

Filling your dunnage bag to the recommended PSI level allows for the optimal function of the bag during transit. Under filling a dunnage bag can lead to unwanted product movement as the bag will not tightly fill up the void, leaving room/spaces for your product to move into during transit. If you overfill a dunnage bag this can cause the bag to pop and/or split especially if there is a large amount of pressure applied to the bag. If the bag pops during transit then the void the bag was filling will open, allowing room for your product to move and possibly become damaged during transit. If a dunnage bag pops while an operator is handling the bag, this can cause harm to the operator. Although dunnage bags are easy to use, everything has a breaking point when used incorrectly. Following the guidelines for filling dunnage bags will lead to the best outcome of the dunnage during transit.

Tips for obtaining the proper PSI level in dunnage bags:

  • The dunnage bag should be filled using an approved inflator for your dunnage bag and the bag’s specific valve design.
  • Your dunnage bags should be cared for and stored according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Use a digital or manual air gauge to check the PSI fill to ensure you have reached the optimal PSI reading.
  • The AAR recommends rechecking the air pressure in all dunnage bags 30 minutes after the initial inflation.
  • Use clean and dry air to fill the dunnage bags.


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