Inclined Impact Pallet Testing

ASTM D880 Impact Testing of Shipping Containers

ASTM D880 provides procedures for conducting impact tests on a shipping container. As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, we realize the importance of conducting impact tests. Meeting the ASTM D880 requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Our proven process helps avoid product launch delays. Keystone Package Testing partners with customers to achieve package compliance. We are in constant communication throughout the test process. Keystone proudly provides accurate test reports that are quickly delivered.

Request a quote to see why so many companies partner with Keystone Package Testing. Have a question about single parcel delivery package testing? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action.

Summary of ASTM D880 Shipping Containers Testing

The ASTM D880 test standard has two procedures.

Procedure A tests the ability of the shipping container to withstand impacts. Procedure B tests the ability of the shipping container to protect the contents. For Procedure B, the definition of shipping container includes the outer container as well as the interior packing.

ASTM D880 integrity transportation testing can be applied to several containers. These include but are not limited to flexible packages, pouches bags, barrels, boxes, crates, drums, kegs, pails, and sacks. The standard also allows for the testing of pallet loads and palletized units. Heavily loaded units can be tested to this standard.

Scope of ASTM D880 Package Impact Tests on Loaded Containers

Why is impact ASTM D880 integrity testing important? Impacts are a common occurrence in transportation. Regardless of the method of shipment, air, sea, rail, or over the road, impacts are common. They can occur as containers are dropped from one surface to another. They can also occur as containers are placed on top of each other. Lastly, impacts happen during normal actions or by accident.

It is not uncommon for the procedures in ASTM D880 testing to produce severe mechanical responses in the test specimen. Therefore, operating personnel must remain alert to potential hazards. Furthermore, personnel must take necessary precautions for their safety and the safety of others,

When the specimen is being tested by Procedure A, the actual contents or a dummy load simulating actual contents is used. For Procedure B, actual contents must be used. Additionally, for both procedures closing, strapping, or sealing is to be the same as what would be used in actual shipment.

ASTM D880 Container Package Testing Procedure

Before carrying out the compliance testing procedures, it is recommended that atmospheres for conditioning be selected from those shown in ASTM D4332.

A package testing laboratory will require a different container setup based on the procedure being tested. For instance, in Procedure A, either the actual contents or dummy contents can be used in the container. For Procedure B, only the actual contents can be used. Regardless of the contents, the container should be strapped, closed, and sealed as it would be when it is transported.

Procedure A: Testing of the ability of a container to withstand impacts

The container is first placed on the carriage with the face or edge to receive impact located projecting 2 inches beyond the impacting end of the carriage.

Next, the carriage is positioned so that the predetermined impact velocity will be obtained and released. The impact velocity of each test is measured to ensure it is representative of the desired impact velocity.

Lastly, the ASTM D880 procedure A is continued until failure of the container or shipping unit occurs,

Procedure B: Testing of the unit to provide protection to the contents

The test is conducted per method A until a predetermined number of impacts at specific impact velocities have been applied.

The container is then opened to be inspected unless previous evidence of failure is apparent.

Test Report

Upon completion of the ASTM D880 impact tests on loaded containers, a report is written. The test report will contain the following information:

  • Reference to the test standard and any deviations from the procedure.
  • A description of the test specimen in sufficient detail for proper identification.
  • A description of the contents.
  • An identification of the purpose of the test.
  • An identification of the apparatus used to complete the testing. This would include the angle of incline, when appropriate. The instrumentation used to include information on the last calibration. Details of any modification to either the test apparatus or instrumentation.
  • The method of conditioning the container prior to testing.
  • A description of the test sequence. Details of the impact velocity of each test. The orientation of the test specimen on the carriage. When necessary, the use of any hazards.
  • Details of any damage.

Expert ASTM D880 Impact Package Testing

Keystone can accommodate flexible and rigid packages of all sizes, including large pallets. We have a full lab of test equipment which permits us to provide short lead times on scheduling. In addition to impact package testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including cold chain, sterile barrier, and accelerated aging.

Request a quote to learn firsthand why so many companies partner with Keystone to achieve their ASTM D880 certification needs.


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

  • ASTM D996 Terminology of Packaging and Distribution Environments
  • ASTM D4003 Test Methods for Programmable Horizontal Impact Test for Shipping Containers and Systems
  • ASTM D4332 Practice for Conditioning Containers, Packages, or Packaging Components for Testing
  • ASTM D5277 Test Method for Performing Programmed Horizontal Impacts Using an Inclined Impact Tester
  • ASTM E122 Practice for Calculating Sample Size to Estimate, With Specified Precision, the Average for a Characteristic of a Lot or Process
  • ISO 2244 Horizontal Impact Test (Horizontal or Inclined Plane Test: Pendulum Test)


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