ASTM D999 Vibration Testing of Shipping Containers

ASTM D999 Vibration Testing of Shipping Containers

ASTM D999 package testing covers vibration testing of filled shipping containers. As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, we realize the importance of vibration testing of shipping containers. Meeting the ASTM D999 requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Keystone provides comprehensive reports shortly after completion of the testing. We have a reputation of helping customers achieve their package certifications. When packages do not meet the requirements, we assist with finding solutions. Our pricing is competitive and we offer volume discounts.

Request a quote to see why so many companies partner with Keystone Package Testing. Contact us to receive more information on vibration testing.

Summary of ASTM D999 Vibration Testing Information

ASTM D999 assesses the performance of a container. The package testing integrity standard considers the interior packing and means of closure. ASTM D999 performance is based on the strength and protection it provides its contents when it is subjected to vibration.

The test specimen consists of the container loaded with interior packaging and the actual contents. The contents can use blemished or rejected products as long as any defects are recorded prior to testing. When possible, five or more replicable tests should be conducted to improve the statistical reliability of the data obtained.

Exposure to vibration can affect the shipping container, its interior packaging, contents, and means of closure. The testing in ASTM D999 permits an analysis of the interaction of these components.

Scope of ASTM Integrity Testing for Shipping Containers

This packaging test standard is suitable for testing containers of any form, material, kind, design of interior packing, means of closure, size, and weight. ASTM-D-999 testing includes four methods:

A1: Repetitive Shock Test (Vertical Motion)

These tests are suitable for tests of individual containers that are transported unrestrained on the bed of a vehicle. These tests are suitable for containers that are subjected to repetitive shocks due to magnification of vibrations in unit loads or stacks.

A2: Repetitive Shock test (Rotary Motion)

This method is identical to method A1. The difference is the vibration motion. Even though there are similarities, the results of these two methods may not correlate with each other.

B: Single Container Resonance Test

This method is ideal for individual containers and their internal packaging to protect the contents from vibration. The vibration is generated from transportation and the focus is on the resonant responses.

C: Palletized Load, Unitized Load, or Vertical Resonance Test

This method focuses on the resonance frequency of palletized loads and multiple-unit stacked loads. The goal is to determine if the strength of the container is sufficient to withstand dynamic loads when stacked.

Significance of ASTM D999 Vibration Testing

Why is testing vibration important? Shipping containers are constantly exposed to dynamic stresses caused by vibrations. Vibration resonances can be extreme and lead to package and product failure. To minimize this damage, identification of critical frequencies and package stresses is important.

A completed ASTM D999 test report should include the following:

  • Identification and description of the test specimens, including the container, the interior packaging, and the product (give size, weight, and any other pertinent details).
  • If Method C is used for unitized loads, describe the unitized load and the height of the stack, and the unitizing method employed.
  • Purpose of the test and the applicable performance specification, if any.
  • Sequence of test methods and the test intensities, frequencies, and durations used. State whether random or swept sine input was used to determine resonance frequencies. If random, report the spectrum used.
  • Verification of compliance with the test method or describe any deviations.
  • Number of replications of each test.
  • Atmospheric conditions the test specimens were subjected to, both prior to and during the test.
  • Any other test the specimens were subjected to prior to this test.
  • Description of the apparatus and the instrumentation used, including the date of the last calibration.
  • Detailed descriptions and photographs of the fixturing used in the test.
  • Results of the test.
  • Descriptions and photographs of any damage or deterioration to the containers or their contents as a result of the test(s).
  • State whether the damage created in the laboratory testing replicates actual field damage to the container and contents.
  • All resonant responses and any observations that may assist with the correct interpretation of results or lead to improvements in the design of the container, interior packaging, or product.
  • Statement of whether or not the specimen(s) complied with the requirements of the applicable specification.
  • For Methods A1 and A2, a description of any adjustments made to the test frequency during the test.

Expert ASTM Vibration Laboratory Package Testing

Keystone Package Testing is a leader in testing to the ASTM D999 test standard. With significant experience, we not only provide expert testing but also assist with developing the test plan and identifying potential solutions when packages do not meet specific ASTM requirements.

With four shakers and numerous temperature chambers, we offer short lead times on package testing scheduling. Contact us to see firsthand why so many companies partner with Keystone Package Testing to meet their transit testing needs.


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.