Structural cores used for the safe distribution of Covid-19 vaccines

The Envirotainer RAP e2 container is used for the safe distribution of Covid-19 vaccines across the world.

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

Excellent thermal performance

For more than ten 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.

Efficient production with pre-cut parts

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. Thanks 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.

Diab delivers the composite sandwich core as kits with pre-cut parts, making the production of RAP e2 more efficient and contributing to making it easier to increase volumes efficiently. 

“Envirotainer is proud to be part of the efforts to transport both ongoing COVID-19 trial shipments as well as the upcoming global shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine,” says Bernt Anderberg, CTO at Envirotainer. He continues, “Working together with partners like DIAB helps us deliver a safe and secure solution for the life-saving medicines that people depend upon.”

Envirotainer in aircraft

 

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