ASTM F2054 Standard Test Method for Burst Testing of Flexible Package Seals Using Internal Air Pressurization Within Restraining Plates

The purpose of ASTM F2054 is to determine the minimum burst strength of a seal. The seal is around a flexible package that is internally pressurized and enclosed with restraining plates. This burst test will increase pressure of the package until the seal bursts. The restraining plates serve to stabilize the product and ensure that pressure is distributed evenly. Uniform pressure distribution will help to identify the weakest point in the seal. This procedure applies to flexible packages with seals around the perimeter (pouches). It is also applicable to pouches with a peelable seal feature.

The packages are tested in an apparatus that applies pressure internally until the seal ruptures (bursts). The package is placed between two parallel plates, restraining plates, that add rigidity to the package. This prevents the package from expanding but leaves the seal edge free. An internal sensor will monitor the pressure as it increases throughout the test. There are two configurations that may be used for this test method depending on application:

  • Open Package Configuration- seal is placed around three sides of the package and the fourth side is left open
  • Closed Package Configuration- seal is placed around all four sides of the package

This test indicated tendencies for seal failure when the package is exposed to different pressures. In the field, pressure differentials are common during sterilization and transportation. It is important to note that the purpose of this test is for burst strength of the seal. The test cannot make any determinations of overall package strength or areas of the package that touch the restraining plates. The test can be used to evaluate seal strength during manufacturing and various points of distribution.

Open-Package Test:

For this test, the package is sealed on three sides and one side remains unsealed. It is placed in the testing apparatus and then the open side is sealed by a clamping mechanism. The pressurization testing nozzle is placed in the open end of the package before it is clamped. Test an appropriate number of samples so that an accurate determination can be made of representative performance. The package should be conditioned for a minimum of 72 hours prior to the start of testing. It is best if the test is conducted within the conditioned environment. However, if this is not possible, the report should specify the conditions at the time of testing. It is recommended to mark the sample packages so that they are all positioned the same way for consistent testing. Begin inflating the package by increasing internal pressure until the package bursts as a result of pressurization.

Closed-Package Test:

For this test, the package is sealed on all four sides and placed between the restraining plates. The pressurization nozzle is inserted through a puncture in the body of the package but shall maintain an airtight seal around the nozzle. Test an appropriate number of samples so that an accurate determination can be made of representative performance. The package should be conditioned for a minimum of 72 hours prior to the start of testing. It is best if the test is conducted within the conditioned environment. However, if this is not possible, the report should specify the conditions at the time of testing. Begin inflating the package by increasing internal pressure until the package bursts as a result of pressurization.

The packages should be inspected to identify where the rupture occurred. If the rupture occurred in a place other than the seal, the test sample may be voided. The testing laboratory will write a comprehensive report that follows the guidelines provided by ASTM F2054.

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