ASTM D6179 Rough Handling

ASTM D6179 Rough Handling of Unitized Loads and Large Shipping Cases and Crates

ASTM D6179 package testing tests the integrity of unitized loads and large shipping crates to endure rough handling. As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, we realize the importance of the rough handling of unitized load testing. Meeting the ASTM D6179 requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Keystone Package Testing creates an accurate test plan to eliminate expensive over-testing. We are in constant communication throughout the test process. Keystone partners with customers to achieve package compliance. We have a reputation for helping customers achieve their package certifications.

Request a quote to learn why we are one of the fastest-growing package test labs in the country. Have a question about the rough handling of unitized loads? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action.

Summary of ASTM D6179 Rough Handling Testing

For this standard, a unitized load is defined as articles or containers that are secured together in such a way that they are to be handled as one unit. Large shipping cases and crates are of a size and weight that they require mechanical handling.

The case or crate may be secured or supported by a base or pallet. It is important to note that not all of the test methods apply to all products, containers, and loads so the user must find the test(s) best suited to achieve their goals.

Scope of ASTM D6179 Rough Handling Package Testing

The test methods below apply to common means of material handling:

Test methods A-E are ASTM methods used to measure the ability of the test specimen to withstand rough handling impacts.

ASTM D6179 test results can also provide information that will assist in identifying areas of the sample that need to be improved through a new design. (test methods A and B are not typically used for unitized loads)

Test Method A: Rotational Edge Drop Test

One end of the case or crate is raised and set upon a timber or other support. The other end of the unitized crate is lifted to predetermined heights. The crate is then released allowing it to fall freely on the impact surface.

Test Method B: Rotational Corner Drop Test

The test crate or case is set up as defined in Test Method A. A 4 to 10-inch block is placed under one corner. The diagonal corner is then raised so that the lower corner of that end reaches a specific height and then released allowing the unit to fall freely.

Test Method C: Rotational Flat Drop Test

With one edge of the case, crate, or unitized load supported by the floor, raise the other end to prescribed heights and release to fall flat on the impact surface.

Test Method D: Unsupported Free Fall Drop Test

Raise the case, crate, or unitized load above the impact surface. Position the load while in the air for the flat bottom drop, edge, or corner drop as is desired. Release the test item and allow it to fall freely.

Test Method E: Shock Machine Method

The free-fall drop test may be performed using a programmable shock machine of appropriate dimensions using the devices and procedures described in ASTM D5487: Simulated Drop of Loaded Containers by Shock Machines.

Test Method F: Tip Test

This test will determine if the filled tall or top-heavy packages will tip over when tilted to a predetermined angle. The test should be repeated in all potentially unstable directions. Tilt the test item to a predetermined angle from the vertical position in the most critical direction. After releasing the test item, determine which way the test item begins to move, tip over, or return to base, and then return the test item gently back onto its base.

Test Method G: Tipover Test

The container is tipped over and tested on how well it resists impacts. The test will also help determine how much protection the container and packaging protect its contents when it encounters these hazards. The test item shall be slowly tipped until it falls freely without thrust onto the face opposite that of the load application.

Test Method H: Rolling Test

This tests the effects of rolling on filled large shipping cases/crates. The contents or dummy load shall be blocked, braced, and cushioned in place and the package closed for shipment. Position the test item on the impact surface with Surface 1 uppermost. Tilt the test item with the Edge 3 – 4 resting on the impact surface until the point of balance on this edge is reached. Then allow it to overbalance without thrust to impact Surface 4.

Significance of ASTM D6179 Package Testing

The ASTM D6179 transit test methods will help the user establish the integrity and stability of the container that is tested. Additionally, the results of the ASTM0 tests can help the user determine weak points in the design of the container.

Damage to the container or its contents correlates with damage that would occur throughout the distribution process. This ASTM D6179 test is often used to satisfy a regulatory or contractual requirement. Therefore, it is subject to approval by the concerned agency.

It is also important to pack the container with the same contents and in the same way that it would be packed in the field. Note that one container may be used to progress through the different methods of testing provided that it has not failed any test to that point.

The sample specimen should be conditioned or preconditioned to the appropriate standard before any testing. Additionally, the test(s) is performed in accordance with the standards outlined in ASTM D6179. At the conclusion of testing, a report will detail the results of the test(s). This report includes but is not limited to:

  • Statement to the effect that all tests were made in full compliance with these test methods.
  • Dimensions of the case, crate, or unitized load under test.
  • Description of the contents of the case, crate, or unitized load under test.
  • Detailed record of the tests including procedures used and angle of free-fall drop test

Expert ASTM D6179 Rough Handling of Unitized Loads and Large Shipping Cases and Crates

In addition to unitized loads and large shipping case and crate testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including sterile barrier, cold chain, and altitude. We can accommodate flexible and rigid packages of all sizes, including large pallets.

Our package testing engineers are experienced and have a thorough knowledge of industry standards. They are prepared to guide you through the transit testing process. Let’s get started! Request a quote or contact us at (724) 657-9940.


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.