ASTM D5331 Mechanical Handling of Unitized Loads Secured with Stretch Wrap Films
ASTM D5331 package testing evaluates and compares unitizing films by assessing their ability to withstand various types of mechanical handling. As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, we realize the importance of mechanical handling testing. Meeting the ASTM D5331 requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.
Keystone takes a consultative approach throughout the entire test program. When packages do not meet the requirements, we assist with finding solutions. We are in constant communication throughout the test process. Our engineers take pride in delivering quick and accurate ASTM test results.
Summary of ASTM D5331 Mechanical Handling of Loads Secured with Stretch Wrap Information
The test method applies to common means of handling which include forklift, push/pull, clamp truck, crane, and spade lift-type handling systems. The test levels can change to better reflect known levels of intensity in the field. ASTM D5331 focuses on sample preparation and evaluation when assessing the performance of stretch film for load unitizing.
For the purposes of this standard the following terms are defined:
Large shipping case or create- a shipping container (any material) of size and weight that requires mechanical handling. This unit can weigh from 100lbs to many tons. It can be secured or carried by a base or pallet. A frame may be provided to stabilize rigidity throughout the container.
Spade lift attachment- a lift truck attachment that is used for top handling products. The products can include interlocking flange cartons (IFC), folded caps, or folded flap-style cartons.
Unitized load- two or more packages that are wrapped or banded together as one shipping unit.
Scope of ASTM D5331 Mechanical Handling Package Testing
When unitized the packages normally weigh more than 100 lbs. The packages can be unitized using shrink wrap, banding, strapping, taping, or gluing. The unitized load can but does not necessarily have to include a pallet or slip sheet.
ASTM D5331 is often used to compare the performance of unitizing films. However, it can also be used to compare one kind of wrapping material used in different wrap cycles. It is important to note that there has not been a direct correlation established between test results and field performance. Rather, the ASTM D5331 integrity test simulates mechanical handling during all distribution phases. A user can customize the test to simulate a particular distribution environment. To do this the user may use discretion to establish test levels and the number of test cycles.
Significance of ASTM D5331 Unitized Loads Package Testing
The two apparatuses used in this test are the load wrapping apparatus and the mechanical handling apparatus. A load wrapping apparatus is a machine that wraps the test load. This method should be as close as possible to the actual method of wrapping that is used in production prior to shipping.
The mechanical handling will be determined by the test method. To prepare the test loads, begin by arranging the packages in a manner that is similar to actual production. They may be loaded in layers or stacked on a pallet or slip sheet. The load should then be wrapped with the unitizing film using a predetermined percent stretch and wrap cycle.
Again, this is predetermined by the user using their discretion. Then, the unitized load should be left untouched for a minimum of 16 hours before conducting the test. This time allows the stretched wrapping material to reach an equilibrium of its stress retention forces. The test will then be conducted according to the test procedure chosen.
The test procedures include palletized load, spade lift, clamp handling, and push/pull handling. Rely on ASTM D6055 for more information on compliance procedures of palletized loads, spade lifts, clamp handling, and push/pull handling. At the conclusion of the test, the laboratory will record data and compile a test report that includes all the information outlined in the ASTM D5331 standard.
Expert Unitized Loads Secured with Stretch Wrap Films Package Testing
Keystone Package Testing can accommodate flexible and rigid packages of all sizes, including large pallets. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing. In addition to ASTM D5331 testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including drop, vibration, and high impact shock.
For more referenced ASTM standards and similar testing, please follow the links below:
- ASTM D996 Terminology of Packaging and Distribution Environments
- ASTM D4169 Practice for Performance Testing of Shipping Containers and Systems
- ASTM D6055 Test Methods for Mechanical Handling of Unitized Loads and Large Shipping Cases and Crates
- ASTM D6179 Test Methods for Rough Handling of Unitized Loads and Large Shipping Cases and Crates