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Rigorous Testing Required for Offshore Containers

Offshore containers are put through some of the most trying conditions possible—and must stand up to these conditions no matter what. The harsh ocean storms, salty air, rough seas, and even the hazards of moving from one point to another put considerable stress on a container. Because offshore containers are expected to endure these conditions, they must be put through rigorous testing. This is standard for all DNV 2.7-1/EN 12079 certifications.

BSL has eight types of offshore containers—dry containers, half height containers, open top containers, mini containers, cargo baskets, cutting skips, chemical tanks, and offshore reefers. All of BSL's offshore containers meet the stringent requirements of the DNV 2.7-1 and EN 12079 for offshore containers, and, those that are required to have them, meet the ISO 1161 specifications of corner fittings for series one freight containers. Additionally, the 20' standard dry goods containers meet CSC requirements.
This means that, in order to prepare these offshore containers for moving cargo and being in offshore settings, they must pass rigorous inspections and tests prior to approval, certification, and usage.
There are many types of tests that offshore containers endure prior to certification—non destructive and 'in vivo' tests that demonstrate the containers' capabilities to endure any types of conditions. Six of these tests are the most commonplace, and necessary in order to obtain certification:

  • The lifting test – typically a 30-foot lifting test is required to ensure the container does not tip or tilt when lifted to large heights.
  • Stacking tests – the containers are filled (typically with sand bags) to imitate the weight of a regular shipment or storage point, and then stacked upon one another to ensure that the stacking is aligned properly, and that the supporting container will not buckle.
  • Drop tests – this is often considered one of the most exciting tests, because the container is literally dropped from a crane at a certain required height, to ensure that the design can withstand a true drop incident. This is done using a base model container and not the end product.
  • Corner fitting tests – these tests ensure that offshore containers with corner fittings have nothing that 'stick out' to damage other containers, and that the corner fittings will lift and hold appropriately.
  • Stress and pressure tests – much like the stacking tests, these examinations are done in a non-destructive way to ensure that the offshore containers that will be put into use are able to withstand all sorts of changing conditions.
  • Load tests – These tests are performed by placing maximum payload (or payloads of differing sizes) on a container and lifting, stacking, and otherwise moving the container about, to ensure that the containers are able to carry the proper load.

Of course, even at the very first steps of design, offshore containers go through a plethora of tests, reviews, and inspections. Once the containers are built, however, they must be tested for strength, durability, and safety—as mentioned above. For more information, please visit BSL Offshore.

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