Date of Graduation


Document Type

Problem/Project Report

Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Samir N. Shoukry

Committee Co-Chair

Jacky C. Prucz

Committee Member

Henneth H. Means


Air cargo containers are used to load freight on various types of aircrafts to expedite their handling. The current containers are closed containers made of aluminum or combination of aluminum (frame) and Lexan (walls). The objective of this study is to develop innovative, lightweight design and joining concepts for air cargo containers that would allow for weight reduction in the air cargo transportation industry. For this purpose, lightweight carbon fiber woven composite design configuration of a typical air cargo container was developed and manufactured. The new design was devised to meet the FAA-approved certification requirements of the Technical Standard Order TSO-C90, Cargo Pallets, Nets, and Containers. The manufactured model was used to evaluate the technical feasibility and economic viability of creating such a container from fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials. The model was also used to assess the need for the development of suitable and innovative joining techniques that could be used in building such containers and estimate the expected weight reduction. The new design is expected to lower the structural weight of the LD-3 cargo containers from 76 kg for a typical aluminum container to about 20 kg, which represents a weight reduction of 75 percent. This weight reduction would achieve significant savings in fuel cost that would recover the increase in the cost of building such containers.