ASTM D4168 Shock Integrity Testing

ASTM D4168 Shock of Foam-In-Place Package Integrity Testing

ASTM D4168 shock testing uses drop testing to determine the effectiveness of cushioning material. As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, we realize the importance of methods for transmitted shock testing. Meeting the ASTM transmitted shock requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Keystone Package Testing partners with customers to achieve package compliance. We provide comprehensive reports shortly after the completion of the testing. We are in constant communication throughout the test process. Keystone provides the peace of mind that all of your needs will be met.

Request a Quote to learn why we are one of the fastest-growing package test labs in the country. Have a question about ASTM Transmitted shock machines? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action.

Summary of ASTM D4168 Shock Testing

ASTM D4168 package testing consists of using the cushioning material to be tested to support a weighted test block inside a package. Either Test Method A or B may be used. However, the two methods will not necessarily give the same result.

The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. These values are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

Data obtained by these methods may be used to determine the transmitted shock characteristics of foam-in-place packaging materials. This data allows designs of cushioning systems that can provide adequate and efficient use of foam for the protection of goods during a distribution life-cycle.

Significance of ASTM D4168 Cushion Testing

Some cushioning materials will have higher or lower variability. The procedure has no bias because the test values are defined in terms of the test method. Materials that are severely deformed by load and drop high will have more variability in the test results as well.

This shock integrity report includes information such as the test procedure, details of the machines, the position of the package, and more. The number of packages tested and the number of failures recorded will also be included in this report.

Specifically, information in the ASTM D4168 report may contain data such as a description of the cushioning material tested. Other data includes the conditioning parameter, drop height in inches, and a detailed description of any deviations from the procedure.

ASTM D4168 Pre-Molded Cushion Shock Testing Procedures

The ASTM D4168 standard test method is designed to evaluate foam-in-place cushioning materials in a manner in which the foam-in-place packaging material is used. In particular, the method includes simultaneous use of a plastic film, the foam, and the box usually used in this method of packaging. Test method A uses a free-fall package drop height test apparatus while test method B uses a shock-test apparatus.


First, the unit is conditioned to achieve an maintain equilibrium. Standard conditioning is to 23 C and 50% relative humdity

Shock Testing

Next, the test block with the weight adjusted to achieve the desired static load. A total of five drops at the chosen test conditions must be repeated with the box positioned so that the weight rests on the test cushion throughout the entire test. The maximum number of tests performed with a single sample is five.

Test Method A: Free-Fall Drop

Set the release mechanism to support the test specimen at the desired drop height. Next place the test specimen on the release mechanism support. operate the machine in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat the test for a total of five drops at the chosen test conditions.

Test Method B: Shock

Securely fasten the test specimen to the carriage of the shock test machine. Attach the input to the pulse-monitoring accelerometer to the carriage as closely as possible to the outer container. Operate the machine in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to produce the acceleration versus time pulse. Monitor the carriage accelerometer output to verify the proper pulse is obtained. Repeat for a total of 5 drops at the chosen test conditions.

Test Report

Following the testing, a test report is created encompassing the following information:

  • Name of manufacturer
  • Drop height
  • Conditioning parameters
  • Number of specimens tested and date of test
  • Bottom cushion preparation method
  • Test apparatus and procedure used
  • Detailed description of any deviations from the procedure

Expert Transmitted Shock Package Laboratory Testing

Keystone has a full lab of test equipment which permits us to provide short lead times on scheduling. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing. Keystone Package Testing can accommodate flexible and rigid packages of all sizes, including large pallets.

Ready to get started? We are. Request a quote and see why so many customers trust Keystone Package Testing with their ASTM package testing.


For more referenced ASTM standards and similar testing, please follow the links below:


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