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Factors That Affect the Structural Integrity of Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are strong and durable, but certain factors can affect their structural integrity when they are modified. If you are planning on modifying used containers into structures, you need to ensure the state of the container is acceptable for your project, as this will allow the structural integrity of the larger structure to remain sound. Here are some factors to take into consideration with container structures:

Too Many Trips at Sea

Some used containers have travelled at sea many times, while others have only travelled once across the ocean. Container usage is information that is available. If a container has taken many trips at sea, it may have dents and distortions, and this type of damage would indicate that the container is not suitable for use. The container should not tilt and must be rectangular, exactly as it was originally designed. Always inspect the container for spot large rust patches or significant dents, and if you notice any of these, the container should not be used for modification.

Too Many Alterations

Modifications are necessary to transform a shipping container into a structure, but too much of this can affect its structural integrity. There are certain cutting methods that can harm the unit, including corner castings and container walls. The weight of every shipping container is carried through the corner castings. If the corner casting were cut out of a container for modification purposes, it would sacrifice its structural integrity. Cutting container walls is very common because this would enable the addition of windows and doors. However, some cuts may be too large, and this is when it becomes problematic. Cutting out an entire wall, for example, may cause the roof to sag because the walls of a container do carry some weight and help hold the shape. Any drastic cuts should be carefully considered, the container should never be forced to configure into something it’s not, as this will significantly impact its structural integrity.

Improper Stacking

Larger structures like offices and facilities can be created by stacking modified containers but doing this improperly can be problematic. There are a number of safety concerns, so this aspect has to be done correctly, and the set-up crew must use the right equipment to properly stack the containers. A crane or industrial-sized forklift must be used, and the stacked units must be fastened together by the corners so that they can be combined into one structure.

Giant Containers can help you with all of your shipping container needs. We specialize in container homes, buildings and pop-ups, so contact us today for more information!

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