ASTM D6179 Standard Test Methods for Rough Handling of Unitized Loads and Large Shipping Cases and Crates

The test methods for ASTM D6179 are meant to test the integrity of unitized loads and large shipping cases and crates. They also test the ability of the contents of these units to endure rough handling throughout the distribution process. For the purposes of 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 of supported by a base or pallet. It is important to note that not all of the test methods are applicable to all products, container, and loads so the user must find the test(s) best suited to achieve their goals.

The test methods are applicable to common means of mater handling:

Test Method A-E- Drop Test– these methods are used to measure the ability of the test specimen to withstand rough handling impacts. The test results can also provide information that will assist in identifying areas of the sample that need to be improved through new design. (test methods A and B are not typically used for unitized loads)

  • Test Method A- Rotational Edge Drop Test
  • Test Method B- Rotational Corner Drop Test
  • Test Method C- Rotational Flat Drop Test
  • Test Method D- Unsupported Free Fall Drop Test
  • Test Method E- Shock Machine Method
  • 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
  • Test Method G- Tipover Test– this method tests large shipping cases or crates. The container is tipped over and tested on how well it resists the impacts. The test will also help determine how much protection the container and packaging protect its contents when it encounters these hazards.
  • Test Method H- Rolling Test– this method will test the effects of rolling on filled large shipping cases/crates

The significance of ASTM D6179 is two-fold for the user. The test will help the user establish the integrity and stability of the container that is tested. Additionally, the results of the test can help the user determine weak points in the design of the container. Damage to the container or its contents can be expected to correlate with damage that would occur throughout the distribution process. This test is often used to satisfy a regulatory or contractual requirement. Therefore, it is subject to approval by the concerned agency.

It is recommended by ASTM that several containers of a given design be tested to produce the most accurate results. The container should also be the actual container that is used in the field. However, if it is not possible to test the actual container, a replica should be made that has the same height and one base dimension as the original. 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 prior to any testing. The test(s) will be 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).

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Other ASTM Standards: