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Design of a Multi-Use, Highly Efficient Intermodal Container System

[+] Author Affiliations
Maksym Gorbunov

Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL

Paper No. RTDF2013-4709, pp. V001T01A006; 5 pages
doi:10.1115/RTDF2013-4709
From:
  • ASME 2013 Rail Transportation Division Fall Technical Conference
  • ASME 2013 Rail Transportation Division Fall Technical Conference
  • Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA, October 15–17, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5611-6
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME

abstract

This paper details the design of a shipping container concept with a purpose of being not only highly efficient in transport but also after arrival. In order to reduce mass while also increasing the ability to carry heavier loads, Lightweight structures and materials are employed instead of simple steels or cast iron used in current designs. The second goal of the design was to create a weld free structure that can be easily assembled and disassembled without the need for special labor and skills saving time, space and resources when shipping empty container or storing containers that are not in use. Shipping containers often clutter construction sites and temporary establishments like concerts and flea markets. By being able to break down and efficiently store containers businesses in charge of these temporary establishments can save valuable real estate and run much more efficiently.

Another design feature is creating an entirely modular system. Each container is made from completely interchangeable parts that can be swapped in and out for ones that have different function like container variations that provides insulation or active temperature or humidity control for temperature sensitive products or high security configurations for hazardous materials or expensive goods. In order to provide such interchangeability, the frame is designed to be strong and rigid enough to be able to handle the required loads without relying on wall plates. The combination of these design points leads to a transportation system that can not only be deployed using existing intermodal infrastructure but can serve a secondary purpose once it arrives at its destination. Because the containers are modular and highly versatile, they can be assembled into large floor space, multistory structures. Containers and trailers normally used as office space at construction sites are cramped, uncomfortable and very unsightly. Using this system, large two story office space of several thousand square feet can be erected using no more than a dozen containers. The modular walls can be used to swap in ceiling or wall panels that let in natural light, harness solar power or allow plumbing systems, electrical wiring, thermal insulation or ventilation. Because of the weld-free design and ultra-lightweight components, structure assembly and disassembly is simple with unskilled labor and common tools. This is especially important because the most impactful application of this system could be in disaster relief. Single containers can be used as substitutes for single family homes and large container assemblies can be used to create anything kind of community use structure from shower clusters to temporary schools to dining halls to administrative buildings creating a sustainable temporary community.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
Topics: Containers , Design

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