ASTM D880 Standard Test Method for Impact Testing for Shipping Containers and Systems

The scope of ASTM D 880 shipping container testing is to identify the results of impacts on the container. The 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 provide protection to the contents. For Procedure B, the definition of shipping container includes the outer container as well as the interior packing.

ASTM D880 can be applied to a number of containers. These include but are not limited to 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.

Why is impact 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 occur as containers are placed on top of each other. Impacts happen during normal actions, but can also happen by accident.

An ASTM D880 test lab 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.

Upon completion of the testing, a test report is completed. 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. If hazards are used, the dimensions, weight, material and location should be carefully specified.
  • Details of any damage should be accurately included. If damage has occurred, the lab should note any observations that may assist in correctly interpreting the results. The test lab is also permitted and encouraged to include any recommendations for improving the design of the container, method of packing, blocking or cushioning.

Keystone Package Testing is a leader in testing to the ASTM D880 test standard. With significant experience, we not only provide testing, but we also assist with developing the test plan and identify potential solutions when packages do not meet the requirements. With four shakers and numerous temperature chambers, we offer short lead times on transit testing scheduling. Contact us to see firsthand why so many companies partner with Keystone Package Testing to meet their package testing needs.


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