Shipping Container: Estimating and Panel Installation


Where to Start:

1. Surface and Application choices and definitions.

Surface Definitions.

The first descision is why are you interested in insulating a container?  What do you want to achieve when you are finished, the end result. Then you decide which surfaces that you need to  frame and insulate.  A container is basically a cube with 6 sides, each side has 2 surfaces that you can frame and insulate. The possible surfaces that you can insulate now equals 12 different surfaces, interior and exterior surfaces then add in windows, doors, then R-Value the combinations are limitless. Installing InSoFast panels are relatively easy to do but it is just one of many steps along the way.

Container Wall Call Outs

Make a plan and stick to it. At this time it is always best to talk with design professionals and building code officials and discuss regulations, permits, and codes surrounding container building for your area. Different locations have their own set of rules, zoning and building permit requirements. Find your local State R-Value Code Requirements

2. How to Choose the Best Container.

There is not a defined universal grading system for containers. If you are planning on purchasing and converting a container for storage, a man cave, she shed, mobile office, or just insulated storage we recommend a personal visual inspection. It is okay to act like a Missourian, (the SHOW ME state). It will always be easier to modify a container in good condition then one with dings, dents, rust, and holes. 


3. Wall Preparation per Industry Standards
    • Ensure all surfaces are clean of any debris, dust, loose paint, etc before installing InSoFast panels. It is up to the installer to determine the suitability of the adhesive for the surface you are bonding to. If in doubt, an adhesive performance test can be done.
    • Eliminate any leaks before installing InSoFast panels. Do not penetrate the steel walls of your container with screws or fasteners. This compromises the continuous seal and can introduce moisture-related issues.
    • If the container has large dented or indented areas, we recommend hammering them as smooth as possible before installing InSoFast products. As an alternative, the foam of the panel or insert can be adjusted by either carving away the InSoFast foam or by adding spray foam as as a dent filler.
    • Cut out and frame all openings before installing any InSoFast panels or inserts.
4. Abbreviations for rating the condition of used shipping containers.

It can be very confusing purchasing new or second hand container. Every supplier and reseller can grade conditions on a different scale of good, better, or best, ABC’s, 123’s, and other industry acronyms and certifications. The alphabetic soup of ratings. It all sound so complicated and confusing. Yet it is fairly simple, inspect your container before you make the investment. Would you buy a used car before you took it for a test ride?

  • Institute of International Container Lessors –The IICL sets repair standards, by which all repairs are carried out. IICL is the strictest standards for used containers. Tools and Guides.
  • Cargo WorthyCW  Standard under which a used shipping container is deemed suitable for the shipping cargo.  The CW or Cargo Worthy standard generally implies that the container has a valid CSC.  That little plate attached to the container Convention for Safe Containers. Look for the latest inspection date.
  • Wind & Water Tight – WWT a standard under which containers are literally “wind and water tight”. In short, if you lock yourself inside the container, you should not see any light coming through the panels or roof. WWT makes no reference to the quality of the understructure.
  • Convention for Safe Containers –CSC established in 1972 to promote and maintain a high level of safety of human life in the transport and handling of containers by providing generally acceptable test procedures and related strength requirements.
  • International Standardization Organization – ISO International organization based in Geneva working towards harmonizing worldwide technical standards; including those governing the construction of shipping containers.

Define Project Scope or End Use:

1. Finished Interior Space;

Finished Interior Space; suitable or good enough to live in. This would be walls that would achieve higher R-Values, and would require planned services like electric, plumbing, windows and door openings and higher-grade finishes and cabinetry.

2. Commercial Interior Space;

Commercial Interior Space; office space, commercial spaces, retail pop-ups and other high-end habitable spaces. These would be walls that would achieve higher R-Values, and planned services like electric, plumbing, windowsand door openings and higher-grade finishes and cabinetry.

3. Industrial-Agricultural Interior Spaces;

Industrial-Agricultural Interior Spaces; These would be walls where interior space is at a premium and services can be surface mounted. Insulation values can vary but a clean and durable finish materials like FRP fiber reinforced plastic or metal are desirable.

 


Side Wall Panels & Inserts Applications

Side Wall Application Options;

Options for finishing the long side wall of containers.

  1. Option: Finished Interior Space; suitable space to live in, commercial interior space; office space, labratories, retail pop-ups and other high-end habitable spaces. These walls should achieve higher R-Values, and require planned services like electric, plumbing, windows and door openings and higher-grade finishes. The CX 44 panel is best suited for this application if the container is in good to excellent condition.
  2. Option: Industrial-Agricultural Interior Spaces; These would be walls where interior space is at a premium and services can be surface mounted. Insulation values can vary but a clean and durable finish materials like FRP fiber reinforced plastic or metal are desirable. The CX-LowPro insulated studs, side wall inserts, with flat stock insulation provided by others. This method is adaptable and suited for application when the container is in fair to good to condition. The studs and inserts are easier to modify and make plumb and level.on. The studs and inserts are easier to modify and make plumb and level.
  3. Option: Finished insulated exterior;  Walls where exterior finished attachment is the primary application requirement. Insulation thickness can be increased to meet higher energy codes. The CX-LowPro insulated studs, side wall inserts, with flat stock insulation provided by others is the best exterior choice. This method is suited for this application when the container is in fair to good to condition. The studs and inserts are easier to modify and make plumb and level.
  4. Option: Just using inserts with foam by others. A container is an airtight environment. The corrugations presents a unique challenge when insulating a container. Humidity can get trapped in the corrugations which can lead to problematic hidden condensation, aka: “Sweating Metal”. The inserts reduce that hidden dead air space reducing the potential condensation. We believe the best way to insulate a container is to themally buffer the steel from sudden cooling that invites cold condensations points from occurring.
1. Option- CX44 Side Wall Panel;

CX 44 Container Panel

The InSoFast CX 44 Container panel is designed to fit most shipping container's long side walls. It's ideal application is more formal residential/office finished habital space.  Refer to the container diagrams to determine if the InSoFast CX 44 will fit your container’s corrugations. The corrugations should be 11" on center the proper fit is very important. We recommend that you purchase a Container Sample Kit and physically measure the CX 44 panel's fit to the weld seams on your container. Make sure that you have a uniform 44" on center spacing for the container's welds. 

The panel is optimized for interior finishing with the electrical raceways built-in, CX44 is adaptable and will on the exterior walls applications too. The panel’s solid airtight construction helps prevents steel container condensation issues. CX44 panel varies in thickness from 2" to 3 1/2″ thick of closed-cell, injection-molded EPS foam and achieves R-11 insulation.  The specifically shaped EPS is designed to fill the inset corrugation of a shipping container where the side wall weld seams are 44"on center.  If the weld seams are less than 44" this may involve trimming the panels to fit.  Contact our technical department about triming and stack bonding panel alternative methods of installation. 

Side Wall corrugation dimensions that the CX44 will fit.

  • The CX 44 Panel 24" x 44"
      • It is a good choice as a base panel for the InSoFast PLUS when higher R-Value is needed. 
      • It is a good choice when a finished livable space is desired.
      • Designed to fit 44" wide weld seam to weld seam.
      • CX44  Panel (5 panels/box) 36.67 s.f.
        • One 20’ high cube wall would require 5 boxes of the CX 44 panels
        • One 40’ high cube wall would require 10 boxes of the CX 44 panels

Panel Dimensions 24in × 44in × 2in-3 1/2in
Horizontal Chase 48in × 1in × ¾in
Vertical Chase 24in × ¾in × ¾in
Linear Coverage 7.33sq-ft
R-Value R-8.5
Insulated Studs Surface
Interlocking Edges
Cutting Indication Lines
Code Depth Raceways
Ready for Finishing
Interiors
Exteriors

2. Option- LowPro Insulated Stud;

CX LowPro Insulated Studs

CX LowPro a superior engineered solution for insulating containers for interior or exterior applications. The CX-LP studs are ideally suited for intermodal container conversions and are best suited for industrial applications where thin wall insulation and framing is the primary need. (If you are not planning to embed electric services like wiring in the wall, or if you are planning surface mounted conduit. One of the many benefits to the stud, it is easier to modify and adapt to accommidate dings and dents of older containers. The CX-LP is a no compromise, one step insulated stud that takes the complexity out of shipping containers retrofits. The adhesively applied CX-LP eliminates the hundreds of holes associated with shipping container or sea can modifications. The CX LowPro stud is part of a assembly to work with the Side Walls Inserts.

Buy Shipping Container Insulation Panels in Bakersfield, CA

CX-LP LowPro Insulated Stud

Side Wall InSerts

Dimensions

7 1/2in × 24in × 2in

48in x 7 3/4in x 1 1/4 in

Coverage

2.5 sq-ft

2.5 sq-ft

R-Value ASTM C518

R-8.5

R-5.3

Closed-Cell, injection-molded EPS 

ASTM C578 Type II

ASTM C578 Type II

Canadian Standards

CAN/ULC S701 Type 2

CAN/ULC S701 Type 2

Foam Density

1.35 lbs per cubic foot

1.35 lbs per cubic foot

Polyproylene Insulated Studs

Surface

N/A

Ready for Finishes

Interior

Exterior

    • One box of the CX-LP 46 Insulated studs will do 92 lineal feet of framing.   One 20' container side wall would need 44 pcs, of CX LoPros insulated studs and 20 pcs. of the Side Wall Inserts to do one side.
      • One box of Side Wall Inserts has 28 pcs. that are 48 inches long or will cover 112 Lineal feet of corrugation in-fill.

The high-strength co-polymer plastic studs on 11 or 22-inches centers provide a positive attachment stud for finishing the container. The ribbed dovetails surface provides for adhesive applications against the metal surfaces.

CX LowPro Insulated Studs, (CX-LP) is available for export. Like oranges made into orange juice, we concentrated the best attributes of our insulated panels into a cost competitive exportable insulated stud. The InSoFast panels, comprised of 98% air; they are bulky and expensive to ship. Typically, an overseas container will hold enough insulation panels to fabricate 4-5 shipping containers.

Insulating a shipping container is a balancing act between space, comfort, energy efficiency, and humidity control, LowPro gives you that control.


3. Option- UX or EX Flat Panel and InSerts
4. Option- Inserts with flat stock foam and tradional framing;

SideWall Inserts 

  • See Diagram.
  • In Boxes of 28 inserts 4' long (covers 12’of the container wall 8’high)
    • One side of a 20' container would need 1 3/4 boxes of the Side Wall inserts
    • One side of a 40' container would need 3 1/2 boxes of the Side Wall inserts

End Wall  or the containers nose corrugation

  • See Diagram
  • End Wall Inserts - 4’ (20/box) 72 s.f. coverage
    • One box per end wall
    • UX 2.0 or EX 2.5 (5 panels/box) 40 s.f.
      • You woud need 2 boxes UX 2.0 and one box of inserts
      • You woud need 2 boxes EX 2.5 and one box of inserts

Ceiling corrugation 

  • See Diagram
  • Ceiling Inserts - 4’ (57/box) 160 s.f. coverage
  • UX 2.0 or EX 2.5 (5 panels/box) 40 s.f.

    • One 20 Container Ceiling would require 4 boxes of the UX 2.0 or EX 2.5 and 1 Box of ceiling insert
    • One 40 Container Ceiling would require 8 boxes of the UX 2.0 or EX 2.5 and 2 Box of ceiling insert

Floor and Ceiling Applications: UX 2.0 or EXi Panels 2.5 (5 panels/box) 40 s.f.

  • UX 2.0 or EX 2.5 (5 panels/box) 40 s.f.
    • One 20 Container floor would require 4 boxes of the UX 2.0 or EX 2.5
    • One 40 Container floor would require 8 boxes of the UX 2.0 or EX 2.5 

UX 2.0 Panels

2″ thick  of closed-cell, injection-molded EPS foam body achieves R-8.5 insulation The UX2.0 is our thinest profile panel, optimized for  flat surface interior finishing. The UX 2.0 will work on floors, walls, ceiling and can be adapted for shipping container construction or other unique applications. It is a good choice as a base panel for the InSoFast PLUS when higher R-Value is needed.

UX 2.0 Flat Panel Series

Panel Dimensions 24in × 48in × 2in
Horizontal Chase 48in × 1in × ¾in
Vertical Chase 24in × ¾in × ¾in
Linear Coverage 8sq-ft
R-Value R-8.5
Insulated Studs Surface
Interlocking Edges
Cutting Indication Lines
Code Depth Raceways
Ready for Finishing
Interiors
Exteriors
Walls
Floors
Ceilings
Commercial
Industrial
Educational
Foundations Walls
Shipping Containers
Tiny Houses
Passive House
LEED/Green Build
Interiors
Exterior
NFPA Assembies

 

Side Walls weld seam @ 44" O.C.
Exterior
Interior
Commercial
Industrial
Educational
Shipping Containers
Tiny Houses
LEED/Green Build
NFPA Assembies

EXi 2.5 Panels

2 1/2″ thick of closed-cell, injection-molded EPS foam body achieves R-10 insulation. The EXi is optimized for interior finishing. The panel will work on floors, walls, ceiling and can be adapted for shipping container construction or other unique applications. It is a good choice as a base panel for the InSoFast PLUS when higher R-Value is needed.

EXi2.5 Flat Panel Series

EXi Dimensions 24in × 48in × 2½in
Horizontal Chase 48in × 1in × ¾in
Vertical Chase 24in × ¾in × ¾in
Linear Coverage 8sq-ft
R-Value R-10.5
Insulated Studs Embedded ½in
Interlocking Edges
Cutting Lines
Code Depth Raceways
Ready for Finishing
Interiors
Exteriors
Walls
Floors
Ceilings
Commercial
Industrial
Educational
Foundations Walls
Shipping Containers
Tiny Houses
Passive House
LEED/Green Build
Interiors
Exterior
NFPA Assembies

The Recommended Adhesive:

PL Premium

1. Why Use Loctite PL Premium 3x;

Loctite PL Premium

LOCTITE® PL PREMIUM® POLYURETHANE CONSTRUCTION ADHESIVE

New Look Buy Shipping Container Insulation Panels in Monroe, NC

Green Guard Certified Adhesive:

One of the many reasons we recommend Loctite PL Premium is it has the GREENGUARD Certification.  It is important to us that you use an adhesive that has low chemical emissions, you are building in an airtight shipping container, improving the quality of the air you breath is kind of important.

InSoFast panels were designed with simplicity in mind and we would argue that gluing them is not only the easiest method of installation but often the most effective. Third-party testing has shown the adhesive bond strength of our studs to have 108psi of holding power. This means each adhered panel is capable of holding over 5,000lbs!

In Canada the Glue is LePage PL Premium

Testing was conducted using Loctite PL Premium’s 3X Stronger Construction Adhesive, (in Canada it is marketed under the LePage PL Premium brand,) on clean concrete surfaces. It is the only adhesive we have tested. Other formulas and brands may not work as expected.

2. Estimating Adhesive Quantity;

Estimating Adhesive Quantity

Estimating the amount of adhesive YOU will use has variables beyond our control like condition of your walls and how accurate are you with a glue gun? The example below is for one side wall of a 20' standard height shipping container you will need approximately 3 tubes of the adhesive. That is in a perfect world. PL Premium 3x adhesive is applied in a ⅜" bead on the backside of the studs onto the ribbed surfaces.  We realize that a 3/8" bead of glue is very subjective. It is important that there is enough adhesive to squish the dovetails on the back side of the stud when pressed to the container wall. Adhesive follows the "Goldie Locks rule, too much, too little, and just right. If you are doing just right you can expect that 1 large 28-fl oz tube will cover 18 of our 24" long studs or enough glue at a 3/8" bead to cover 36 foot long bead of glue. 

Additionally you will have to estimate for glue around openings like windows and doors.

1 large 28-fl oz / 828 mL tube = 18 (24" studs or inserts)

  • CX 44 (22 panels with 2 studs each plus 8 end wall edges) = 52
  • 52 ÷ 18 = 3 tubes of the adhesive

 To verify that enough adhesive is used, press the panel into place. Pull the panel back and check to see if the adhesive has spread out beyond the full width of the stud. It is normal for the panel to "float out" from the side of the container when it is accommodating irregularities in the container walls. Additional adhesive may be necessary in some areas.

3. Adhesive Quantity Chart;
LOCTITE® PL PREMIUM® POLYURETHANE CONSTRUCTION ADHESIVE Rough estimate for  28 ounce tubes of adhesive required
Container CX 44 Side Walls End Wall and Inserts Ceiling and Inserts Swing Doors Floors Total without doors and floors Total Estimate with doors and floors
20' Container - Standard 3 Per side total 6 2 1/2  6 1/2 3 7 13 23
20' Container - High Cube 3 Per side total 7 2 1/2  6 1/2 3 7 14 24
40' Container - Standard 6 Per side total  12 2 1/2  13 3 14 28 45
40' Container - High Cube 6 Per side total  13 2 1/2  13 3 14 29 46
4. Important Notice: Container Surface Preparation, Temperature Application;

Important Notice: Container Surface Temperature Applications

When bonding EPS and XPS foam insulation, use above 40°F (4°C) and avoid cure and surface temperatures above 90°F (32°C). Surfaces must be clean, dry and free of frost, grease, dust and other contaminants. Pre-fit all materials and protect finished surfaces. If using cartridge format, cut nozzle at a 45° angle to desired bead size and puncture inner seal. Be very careful not to allow Loctite® PL® Premium to cure on a finished surface.

Cold Weather Tips:  

Interior Installation

Heating the interior of the container will not be sufficient for the adhesive to cure because the insulation panels will not allow heat to transfer to the container surface.  It is recommended to either move the container to a heated area or tent and heat the exterior until the adhesive has cured.

Exterior Installation

The interior of the container can be heated until the adhesive has cured.

Interior and Exterior Installation

Install the exterior panels first while heating the interior.  Allow adhesive to cure before installing interior insulation.

Overview / FeaturesTechnical Data / Directions

5. Safety Precautions;

Wear gloves. Cured adhesive on bare skin will not come off immediately with washing and will cause skin to darken. Cured adhesive and discoloration will come off in about 3 days.

6. Cleanup;

Clean tools and uncured adhesive residue immediately with mineral spirits in a well-ventilated area to the outdoors. Remove cured adhesive by carefully scraping with a sharp-edged tool.


Tools and Supplies

Hot Knife for containers

  • Long snap off blade utility knife
  • Saw – hand, jig, skill, table
  • Gap and crack foam for sealing corners/openings and at the top of the wall

Tools

  • PL Premium 3x Stronger Construction Adhesive
    • 28 oz. tube covers 50 s.f. of InSoFast Panels
    • 28 oz. tube covers 100 l.f. of InSerts

Guides, Brochures, and Comparisons:

Container installation guide     pdf
Container extended installation guide     pdf
Insulating a shipping container door      pdf

InSoFast Plus Method

Need a higher R-value? No Problem! Start with a base of InSoFast continuous insulation panels they are feature-rich and easy to install. Then add rigid foam insulation over top of InSoFast panels.