Strong demand for aluminum in containers

2022-06-22
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With the continuous expansion of China's economic aggregate and international trade volume, China's container manufacturing industry has developed rapidly. The application and demand of container aluminum has become a new opportunity for the aluminum processing industry

the earliest application of aluminum in containers was in the early 1960s. Companies such as frue Hauf and Trailmobile in the United States produced aluminum containers similar to box semi trailers, which used steel frames. The flat aluminum on them was reinforced by extruded aluminum blocks, and the flat aluminum blocks were connected by rivets and closed fasteners. Therefore, special aluminum parts must be stored in advance for later maintenance. In addition, the manufacturing cost was relatively high, As a result, "sea land" company, which has been advocating the use of aluminum containers for decades, finally had to turn to the production of steel containers

however, with the deepening of human understanding of the lightweight, corrosion resistance, formability, low-temperature performance stability and other properties of aluminum, as well as the continuous improvement of aluminum processing and welding technology, many container components with complex sections can use extruded aluminum profiles to simplify manufacturing processes and reduce processing and maintenance costs, In addition, aluminum alloy can maintain good performance at low temperature (without low-temperature brittleness), and aluminum does not react with oil, natural gas and other chemical liquids. Therefore, in many application fields of containers, the cost performance advantage of using aluminum has been increasingly recognized by the relevant industries. Aluminum profiles and plates are not only used more and more in the manufacturing of refrigerated containers, but also have many advantages in the manufacturing of dry containers that need to be equipped with additives to produce miscellaneous ventilation slots, such as convenient processing and lightweight (the dead weight of iteu is 20% - 25% lighter than that of steel containers)

the aluminum containers currently produced usually use the most appropriate amount of various aluminum alloy profiles and plates on the main components. Aluminum profiles are mainly used in the box floor, connectors, forklift guide rails, bottom support beams, upper and lower fixed beams of side aluminum plates, box door frames and other parts. There are very strict requirements on the alloy composition ratio, dimensional accuracy, internal structure and performance of aluminum profiles to meet the high quality requirements of welding and assembly. Generally, a container of one specification and model is equipped with 15 ~ 20 aluminum profiles with different cross-section specifications. At present, domestic aluminum profile enterprises have developed hundreds of complex aluminum profile structural parts for containers, which can meet the assembly needs of dozens of container types

at present, the annual output of aluminum containers in China alone has exceeded 160000 TEU. Considering the different requirements of customers and production costs, there are certain differences in the application of aluminum materials in aluminum containers. The application amount of aluminum materials for a 20 foot standard aluminum container is usually 300kg ~ 600kg of profiles and about 200kg of plates. According to incomplete statistics, at present, the application of aluminum materials in domestic aluminum containers is about 80000 tons of aluminum profiles and about 32000 tons of aluminum plates

with the increasing containerization of the international logistics industry, China's container manufacturing industry, which leads the world's container development trend, has taken high-tech aluminum refrigerated containers and special containers as an important development direction in order to avoid the possible decline of the industry boom and other risks. The aluminum application prospect of containers is in the ascendant, which will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the industry and enterprises, and the demand will be greater and greater. According to the current annual average growth trend of 15% ~ 20%, it is estimated that by 2010, the output of aluminum refrigerated containers and special containers in China alone will exceed 300000 TEU/year. At that time, the annual demand for aluminum profiles was about 150000 tons, and about 60000 tons of aluminum plates; At the same time, in order to reduce the weight of the whole box and reduce the processing cost, on the premise of ensuring the overall rigidity, the requirements for aluminum materials will be more large-scale, highly strengthened and thin-walled, and the quality requirements for aluminum materials will be higher and higher. This is both a challenge and a rare opportunity for China's aluminum processing industry

source: China water transport news

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