ISTA 3F Mixed Pallet Integrity Testing

ISTA 3F: Mixed Pallet Package Testing

ISTA 3F evaluates the integrity of mixed pallet loads during transit. As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, we realize the importance of ISTA 3F testing. Meeting the ISTA 3F package integrity requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Keystone Package Testing provides the peace of mind that all of your ISTA certification needs will be met. When packages do not meet the requirements, we assist with finding solutions. Our engineers have a reputation for helping customers achieve their package certifications. 

Request a quote and find out first hand about our competitive pricing, timely process, and outstanding reputation. Contact us to receive more information on ISTA 3F package testing.

Summary of ISTA 3F Package Integrity Testing

The ISTA 3F package testing standard is for package pallets in mixed pallet loads for regional shipments that are 100 pounds or less. As mentioned in the standard, ISTA 3 Series and ISTA 3F are advanced tests.

That being said, these tests challenge the capability of the package to withstand transport hazards. However, they use general simulations of actual transport hazards. Generally, the tests do not need to comply with carrier packaging regulations.

Scope of ISTA 3F Transit Regulatory Compliance Testing

ISTA 3F is a general test for packaged products that are shipped as individual package from a distribution center to a retail outlet. Furthermore, the package is in a mixed pallet configuration.

A mixed pallet is defined as a pallet that contains more than one trade item. This also includes a pallet with one trade item but with different variable product attributes.

Prior to testing, the shipper must consider the following:

  • What constitutes damage to the product?
  • What damage tolerance is allowable?
  • What methodology will be used to determine the product condition at the end of the test?
  • What is the acceptable package condition at the conclusion of the test?

After close consideration of the information above and before testing, the faces, edges, and corners of the package must be identified. Next, unit gross weight and outside dimensions are measured.

Samples used in the ISTA 3F standard must consist of an untested actual package and product. If one or both, are not available, substitutes must be as identical as possible to those being shipped in the distribution cycle. Additionally, a number of 6 samples are required for testing.

ISTA 3F Regulatory Compliance Laboratory Procedures

Atmospheric conditioning such as humidity and temperature must comply with ASTM D4332. Optional conditioning includes the chamber and control apparatus complying with the apparatus of ASTM D4332, as well.

The tests are performed on each sample in the sequence mentioned below:

  1. Atmospheric Preconditioning: Test block 1 – Temperature and humidity testing.
  2. Atmospheric Conditioning: Test block 1 – Controlled temperature and humidity.
  3. Compression: Test block 2 – Machine apply and release, Machine apply and hold, or, Weight and load spreader.
  4. Shock: Test block 3 – Drop.
  5. Vibration: Test block 4 – Random.
  6. Shock: Test block 5 – Drop.

Expert ISTA 3F Package Integrity and Transit Testing

Keystone Package Testing is a certified ASTM and ISTA testing laboratory. We have significant experience in package testing and work with hundreds of companies on an annual basis. We are also e-commerce package testing experts, having an Amazon APASS certification.

Contact us to learn first hand why so many companies partner with Keystone to achieve their ISTA transit certification needs. Request a quote and find out first hand about our competitive pricing, timely process, and outstanding reputation.


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