ASTM D5112 Standard Test Method for Vibration (Horizontal Linear Motion) Test of Products

The purpose of ASTM D5112 is to determine the resonances of unpackaged products and components when horizontal linear motion is applied at the surface that the product is mounted on. There are two alternative test methods for ASTM D5112.

  • Test Method A- Resonance Search Using Sinusoidal Vibration
  • Test Method B- Resonance Search Using Random Vibration

The information from these test methods is used to examine the response of products to vibration. Since damage from vibration is most likely to be observed at resonant frequencies, this test can be used to improve design with modifications that will minimize damage. When evaluating possible modifications, sinusoidal dwell and random test methods are optional. However, they may prove helpful in assessing the fatigue characteristics of the resonating components. It is important to note that this test does not necessarily simulate field conditions that the product will encounter.

Products are exposed to many stresses throughout distribution channels including the transportation environment. ASTM D5112 can help the package designer determine the most effective packaging system to minimize product damage. Determining resonant frequencies of the product will provide unique insights to the interactions between the components of the package after undergoing vibrations.

There are five testing apparatuses that are required as outlined by ASTM D5112.

  1. Vibration Test Machine- The machine must have a flat horizontal surface that is capable of distributing a uniform vibration over the entire test specimen surface. The test surface should only be moved in horizontal linear motions throughout the test.
  2. Sinusoidal Control- The frequency and amplitude should cover the range specified in the procedure. It should be variable but also under control at all times.
  3. Random Control- The frequency and amplitude should achieve values outlined in the test procedure. The motion should be continuously variable but also under control.
  4. Specimen-Mounting Devices- The mounting devices need to be able to sufficiently secure the product to the test surface. The devices are intended to support the product on the test table similarly to how to product is secured in its shipping container. It is not permitted to have relative motion between the test surface and the test mounting interface.
  5. Instrumentation- Instrumentation systems are required to monitor and/or record the accelerations and frequencies at the test surface and points of interest. The types of instruments include sensors, signal conditioners, filters, and data acquisition apparatus that are accurate to +/- 5 % over the test range. The test procedure outlines differences in measurement instruments when using Test Method A and Test Method B.

The required test specimen sample number will be determined by the number necessary to display an accurate representative performance. When possible, five (5) or more test samples should be used. The test specimen for purposes of this test is the product as intended for packaging. In some cases, it is beneficial to put additional sensors on points of interest. It is important that extra sensors are light in weight and have flexible wires so that they will not interfere with the integrity of the test. It is permitted to remove noncritical panels of the product to observe the interior components of the product.

Prior to testing, conditioning may be required. The ASTM D5112 test must be performed in the test condition environment or immediately after removal. The test specimen should be secured to the test surface in a way that prevents any movement of the product. The spectrum of vibrations should be representative of the transportation environment. Resonant responses of the product must be recorded. Acceleration and frequency data on the test surface, and test specimen components should be monitored and recorded throughout the test. The test should be conducted on every product orientation that is a concern during shipping. The testing laboratory will compile the data in a comprehensive report following the guidelines of ASTM D5112.

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