Envirotainer Uses Diab’s Structural Cores to Develop RAP e2 Container for Safe Distribution of Covid-19 Vaccines Globally

March 15 (2021

The secure shipment of COVID-19 vaccines and all other medicines requires high-quality temperature-controlled packaging solutions. An optimal logistics setup with an unbroken cold chain from the manufacturing plant to hospitals worldwide is also crucial for a successful roll-out.

Envirotainer, the global market leader in temperature-controlled air freight solutions for pharmaceuticals, has developed one of the most advanced temperature-controlled air cargo containers, the RAP e2, that will contribute to the safe transportation of Covid-19 vaccines.

For more than 10 years, Diab engineers have been working closely with Envirotainer’s development team, providing technical support, and have also been involved in creating the RAP e2 container. In the construction phase, they decided that, instead of the ‘traditional’ aluminum/polyurethane foam construction, they should use sandwich composites based on Diab structural cores. This solution offered improved thermal, structural, and impact/damage performance.

The result is a container that offers almost twice the insulation value compared to the equivalent aluminum/PUR container, reducing the size of the battery pack for the temperature control system. The interior temperature can be maintained at a constant temperature (from -20 to +40 °C [-13 to +104 °F]) throughout the container’s journey. Full-scale tests have also shown that it can withstand more than a 23-ton static load on its roof. Due to the sandwich composite design, the Envirotainer engineers were also able to develop a VARTM (vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding) manufacturing process that allows an efficient series production of the containers while maximizing the properties of the sandwich composites.

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