Bridge Impact Testing (2)

Bridge Impact Package Integrity Testing

What is Bridge Impact Simulation Testing?

Bridge impact integrity testing is intended for long packages to resist impact near their center. This is used when a package is supported only at its ends. The two optional procedures are designed to impart the same amount of kinetic energy at impact. Therefore, each procedure yields equal damage-producing potential.

As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, Keystone Package Testing realizes the importance of bridge impact testing. Meeting the bridge impact compliance requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process. 

Request a quote to learn why we are one of the fastest-growing package test labs in the country. Have a question about simulated mechanical impact testing equipment (S.M.I.T.E.)? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action.

Why is Bridge Impact Testing Important?

The materials shipped in elongated packages are susceptible to negative effects. This damage results from impact near their midpoint when only the ends are supported. Damage occurs during the shipment of packing mixed dimensions. The test method provides a means of determining if the cross-section of a package can resist damage from impacts.

Damages to products and packaging during distribution can bring about expensive replacement fees. On average, companies lose about $1 billion per year as a result of shipping damage. Sadly, a harsh distribution system can also result in a decline in sales, lost customer loyalty, and constant interruptions and delays. Many of these costs can be significantly reduced or eliminated with the proper testing and certification.

Package testing will ensure packaging integrity throughout transportation to mitigate risks. When correctly performing bridge impact integrity compliance testing, benefits include:

  • Product to market time reduction
  • Confidence in product launch
  • Reduced damages and product loss
  • Balanced distribution costs
  • Increased customer satisfaction and a growing market share

Bridge Impact Testing Procedure

Keystone Package Testing recommends bridge impact testing to ASTM D5265. This test type allows the user to select from two options. Option A employs the use of a free-fall drop tester. Option B makes use of simulated mechanical impact testing equipment.

The test specimens and several samples are chosen to permit an adequate determination of representative performance. For large production runs, lot sampling per ASTM E122 is advised.

It is preferable to pack the package with the actual or load simulating contents. Depending on the purpose of the integrity test, packages are conditioned before the bridge impact test. Unless otherwise specified, fiberboard packages are conditioned per ASTM Method D4332: Conditioning Containers, Packages, or Packaging Containers for Testing.

Procedure A

Procedure A includes the package placed on the test floor of the drop test apparatus. Support blocks are placed parallel to each other and perpendicular to the long axis of the package. An impactor is positioned on the drop table. It must be noted that the edge of the impactor should strike the package so that the plane containing this edge makes no more than a 5-degree angle.

The bottom edge of the impactor is required to drop from a specified height above the upper surface of the package being tested. Lastly, the impactor is then dropped on the package’s narrow cross-section to produce a specified impact velocity.

Procedure B

Procedure B places the package to be tested on the table of the Simulated Mechanical Impact Testing Equipment (S.M.I.T.E.) test apparatus. The support blocks are placed parallel to each other and perpendicular to the long axis of the package. Next, an impactor is positioned so that it will strike the package with a long edge. The impactor is also positioned so that the midpoint of the bottom edge strikes the midpoint of the package being tested.

Lastly, the impactor is dropped from a machine height to generate a specific impact velocity. If no impact velocity is specified, use 48 in/s.

The information included in the test report may consist of general or specific information about the method or conditions. Furthermore, the report may include information such as:

  • Mass of the impactor
  • Method of conditioning the container
  • Drop height
  • Description of the contents of the container being tested
  • Dimensions of the package under testing

For more information on drop testing procedures, follow the links below.

Keystone’s Bridge Impact Equipment and Capabilities

Keystone’s test machines are capable of precise drops from different heights and angles. Furthermore, our package testing laboratory includes multiple compression testers and shakers up to 12 kips.

We utilize more than two dozen climatic chambers with sizes ranging from reach-in to large walk-in chambers up to 1,300 cubic feet. These thermal chambers can accommodate up to entire vehicles and substantial pieces of equipment. Keystone can test flexible and rigid packages of all shapes and sizes.

Expert Bridge Impact Package Testing Lab

In addition to bridge impact testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including sterile barrier, bubble leak, and parcel integrity testing. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing.

Contact us and find out first hand about our competitive pricing, timely process, and outstanding reputation. Request a quote to receive testing services customized to your specific needs.


Interested in the EMC/EMI, climatic, dynamic, shielding effectiveness, or IP Code testing of a product? Follow the corresponding links or for more information.