Box Compression Analysis of World-Wide Data Spanning 46 Years


  • Thomas J. Urbanik
  • Benjamin Frank


Box compression, strength, model, bending stiffness, ECT, BCT, buckling


The state of the art among most industry citations of box compression estimation is the equation by McKee developed in 1963. Because of limitations in computing tools at the time the McKee equation was developed, the equation is a simplification, with many constraints, of a more general relationship. By applying the results of sophisticated finite element modeling, in this current study we derive a more general box compression formula that preserves the underlying theory of the McKee equation but removes the constraints. This formula is solvable with modern spreadsheet software, and we present an implementation method and example outputs as we relax or impose the various constraints. We analyze data obtained from multiple literature sources containing the traditional McKee equation inputs. We quantify the disparity between the McKee equation and the various sources of data and present an improved model for single-wall box-compression strength. The model attaches physical meaning to what were previously only fitting parameters, and it can serve as a tool for additional explorations in box optimization.


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Research Contributions