Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2022

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering


Anthony Viselli

Second Committee Member

Andrew Goupee

Third Committee Member

Robert Lindyberg


This thesis presents a summary of the development and verification of structural finite element (FE) models for predicting key responses of ISO composite-steel shipping containers. The container has a steel perimeter frame with composite corrugated panels bonded to steel tabs welded to the frame. This thesis presents the development of the FE models to predict structural behavior when the container under goes select International Standards Organization standard 1496-1 structural tests. Composite and steel mechanical properties were predicted and matched to measured data from coupon tests. Individual panels were modeled and matched to individual three-point bending tests. The individual panel models were developed into partial container models for the sidewall strength test, roof strength test, frontwall strength test and fork-lift pocket lifting test. Then the models were compared and verified against full-scale test data. The FE models include geometric and material non-linearity capability to successfully predict extreme loads on the container. This thesis serves as a milestone in the hybrid composite-steel shipping container modeling process and will be used for developing FE models for other container variations.