Horizontal Compression Pallet and Parcel Integrity Testing

What is Horizontal Compression Integrity Testing?

Horizontal compression package testing, also known as integrity testing evaluates the ability of a container to resist external compressive loads. Compression testing may also be used to:

  • Compare the characteristics of a given design of a container
  • Assess the package in terms of strength and how well it offers protection to its contents

Meeting compression testing requirements can be difficult. Keystone Package Testing understands the challenges and guides companies through the process.

Request a quote to receive testing services customized to your specific needs. Contact us to receive more information on compression testing or our regulatory compliance testing facility.

Why is Horizontal Compression Testing Important?

Packages, especially those containing fragile or sensitive items, need to be protected from external impacts and compression forces. Depending on the country or region, there may be specific regulations and requirements regarding packaging quality and performance. Horizontal compression testing helps assess the ability of packages to withstand compression loads without damage to the contents.

Additionally, non-compliance with packaging regulations and standards can result in legal consequences and liability issues for manufacturers. In case of accidents, damages, or injuries caused by inadequate packaging, the responsible party may face legal actions and financial penalties. Compliance with regulations and adherence to recognized standards can help mitigate these risks and ensure legal compliance.

On the other hand, the benefits of package testing to withstand the transportation cycle may include:

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

Horizontal Compression Compliance Testing Procedures

Depending on the test method being performed, the package is either conditioned with ISO 2233: Complete, filled transport Packages and Unit Loads – Conditioning for Testing or ASTM D4332: Conditioning of Containers, Packages, or Packaging Components.

Next, a sample size is chosen. The sample must accurately represent the units manufactured.

The horizontal compression test is completed by either using a clamp tester or a compression machine. If the clamp tester is used, the platens must be larger than the side dimensions of the test item. An opening must be sufficient to accommodate the test item.

If a compression machine is used, the rigid load applicator must be larger than the test sample face to be tested. A rigid load applicator can consist of a piece of plywood or steel plate. The horizontal compression test is performed by applying a predetermined amount of force to predetermined faces of the product.

After the testing is completed, a report is written including the following information:

  • Description of the contents
  • Description of the interior packaging (if used)
  • Detailed test results for each specimen
  • Number of specimens tested
  • Identification of test apparatus and instrumentation used

Keystone’s Compression Testing Equipment and Capabilities

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

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 Package Testing owns all the equipment needed to perform professional package integrity testing. We can test flexible and rigid packages of all sizes. Furthermore, we are an ISO 17025 and ISTA-certified test facility that offers the peace of mind that all your package testing needs are met under one roof.

Expert Horizontal Compression Package Testing Laboratory

In addition to horizontal compression testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including sterile barrier, altitude, and cold chain. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing.

Have a question about horizontal compression package testing? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action. Request a quote to see why so many companies partner with Keystone.


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