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News

Ultra strong container takes the knocks

SSAB Tunnpl : 14 November, 2002  (New Product)
South Korean container producer Jindo Corporation has put extra and ultra high strength steel to innovative use. Its new container is strong, durable and comparatively light, in addition to which it is cheaper to manufacture than its conventional counterparts.
South Korean container producer Jindo Corporation has put extra and ultra high strength steel to innovative use. Its new container is strong, durable and comparatively light, in addition to which it is cheaper to manufacture than its conventional counterparts.

The new 53 feet long steel container weighs approximately the same as an aluminium one, but the production cost is more than a third lower. This means more profitable road and rail freight transport. The design has now been nominated for the 2002 Swedish Steel Prize, the international engineering design accolade. Four designs are competing for the first prize. The winner will be announced at the prizegiving ceremony in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 21st November.

Jindo Corporation is a world leader in container production. It began to consider the benefits of high strength steel a few years ago.

'Calculations showed that we would achieve considerable weight reductions in comparison to containers in conventional steel without risking safety or quality,' comments Seon G. Choi, marketing director for the container division at Jindo Corporation in Seoul.

The company concentrated its development work on its 53-feet long model. It is used primarily for road and rail freight transport in North America, often over short distances and with a lot of loading and lifting. Wear is considerable, and high strength steel, which is harder than ordinary steel or aluminium, has additional merits on this front. Furthermore, the new container's maintenance costs are less than a third of those incurred for a conventional model.

In the first development phase the designed only intended to change from conventional steel to extra and ultra high strength steel without changing the design. Even at this early stage, advantages were evident in the form of weight reductions. In the second phase, they also examined new design solutions which were even more sharply focused on the material's merits. The end result is a success Jindo has produced a steel container which compares favourably with aluminium, but at a significantly lower cost.
'This is proof of the great opportunities which high strength steel opens up,' asserts Mr Choi. 'The container's structure is not only thinner and lighter, but also more hard-wearing and cheaper to produce and maintain compared to aluminium.'

The U.S. has exacting specifications for containers used in domestic freight transport. To receive type approval, the container has to undergo a rigorous testing schedule which includes 1,000 lifts as well as 3,000 floor loadings. The containers have to withstand tough handling and being loaded on top of each other. The high strength steel model easily meets these requirements. Development work on the various parts has been crucial.

'To make the design stronger but not heavier, we have developed a completely new type ofI- beam which makes the floor extremely resilient,' explains Mr Choi. 'The beam is manufactured in extra high strength steel strip which is high-frequency welded.'

The container also has a special roof profile which means that condensation and rainwater are efficiently drained. The frame is made of extra high strength hot-rolled steel. Cold-rolled weathering steel is used for the roof and walls. Both types of steel have a yield point of 700 N/mm2.
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