ASTM F2825 Standard Practice for Climatic Stressing of Packaging Systems for Single Parcel Delivery

ASTM F2825 serves as a means of evaluating packaging systems exposed to different climatic stresses. This test is meant to simulate the distribution chain and the many different climates that a package can encounter within the chain. This is a conditioning practice meant to be performed prior to other testing.

For purposes of this test, ASTM F2825 defines climatic stressing. Climatic stressing is “exposing packaging system test samples to conditions of temperature and humidity for a specified period of time which would simulate expected conditions seen in the defined storage and distribution system.” This test is not applical to refrigerated, frozen food storage, or cryogenic storage conditions.

There are three (3) apparatuses required for this test:

  1. Room (or cabinet)- this must be large enough to hold the sample containers. If there are multiple samples, they must be able to stand alone and have circulating air. The room must also have a control apparatus that is capable of maintaining a constant temperature.
  2. Hygrometer- this apparatus is used to measure the relative humidity. It should be accurate to +/- 2 % relative humidity. A psychrometer is also acceptable as a direct measurement device or monitoring the hygrometer.
  3. Thermometer- this is any device that measures temperature. The temperature must be accurate within 0.1°C or 0.2°

To begin ASTM F2825 testing, the package system must be defined and described for reporting purposes. Identify which environmental conditions will best simulate the actual distribution chain keeping duration in mind. Write a test plan that includes sequence, conditions, and exposure times. The test specimen that are used should be representative of actual packaging and products. Contents with blemishes or minor defects can be used as long as the integrity of the item is not damaged. These sorts of defects will have to be documented for the report as well. It is very important that nothing has damaged the package or its contents prior to testing. Samples can be assembled at the lab to ensure that the packages were not damaged. Special care is taken when the items are shipped over long distances or to a remote lab.

The test will be performed to meet the specifications of the test plan. The package system will be evaluated on predetermined acceptance criteria. The testing laboratory will write a report that follows the guidelines of the ASTM F2825 standard. The report should include information pertaining to temperature, relative humidity, and time of exposure. It should also include preconditioning atmosphere and the time of exposure.

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