Vibration Integrity Testing

What is Vibration Package Integrity Testing?

Vibration testing evaluates the integrity of a package or packaging system. More specifically, it assesses the integrity of a package during the rigorous transportation cycle. This test type will determine the amount of protection a package offers to its contents. For product design purposes, the test is used to evaluate the responsiveness of products to vibration.

As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, Keystone realizes the importance of vibration integrity package testing. Meeting the ISO, ASTM or IEC packaging requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Request a quote to learn why we are one of the fastest-growing package compliance test labs in the country.

Why is Vibration Integrity Testing Important?

Vibration laboratory integrity testing assists in minimizing transportation vibrations at critical frequencies expected in the distribution environment. Vibration testing also reflects the integrity of a container or interior packaging design.

Damages to products during the transportation cycle can result in costly replacement fees. Ensuring that packaging is reliable helps companies maintain a competitive advantage. Ultimately, this reassures your customers that you are a trustworthy company that can supply products fit to turn a profit.

Poor product packaging can affect more than product replacement. A harsh distribution system can cause:

  • Return shipments
  • Product repairs
  • Discount/markdowns
  • Lost sales
  • Lost loyalty

Vibration Test Process

In most cases, the test specimen is filled with its intended contents. If the unit can not be filled with the intended shipping contents, the unit must be packaged as similarly as possible. Next, the test specimen is closed normally as if ready for distribution.

Conditioning requirements are described in ISO 2233 or ASTM D4332. The specimen is tested in atmospheric conditions similar to those used for conditioning. Depending on the test standard, the unit under testing is placed in the center of the vibration table. The specimen may be secured or fenced to the table.

Lastly, a test report is written with the following information. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive.

  • A reference to the standard used
  • Date, time, and name of the engineer performing the test
  • A full description of the test item and contents
  • Test duration
  • Description of the conditioning
  • Any deviations from the test method
  • A record of the results, including observations that may assist in the interpretation of results

Keystone’s Vibration Testing Equipment and Capabilities

Keystone Package Testing can accommodate flexible and rigid packages of all shapes and sizes. Our ISO-17025 and ISTA accredited test lab utilizes environmental chambers up to 1,300 cu. ft, shakers up to 12 kips, and multiple compression/tensile testers.

ASTM D999: Vibration Testing of Shipping Containers

ASTM D999 evaluates the performance of filled shipping containers subjected to vibrations. Shipping containers are generally exposed to complex dynamic stresses. The resonant responses during shipment can be severe and lead to package or product failure.

This vibration package test starts by conditioning the unit with ASTM D4332: Conditioning Containers, Packages, or Packaging Components. A frequency of roughly 2 Hz steadily increases. This continues until a shim is capable of being inserted between the shipping container and the test platform.

IEC 60068-2-64: Vibration Testing

IEC 60068-2-64 demonstrates a unit’s resistance to dynamic loads. Particularly without unacceptable degradation of its functional and/or structural integrity.

The test follows the following sequence below:

  1. Initial vibration response investigation
  2. Low-level excitation for equalization before proceeding to the full level test in one continuous mode
  3. Random vibration testing
  4. Final vibration response investigation

The unit under testing is excited in each of the preferred testing axes. The order of the testing along the axes is not important unless specified by the standard. Lastly, the specimen is visually inspected, dimensions are taken, and a functional check is performed.

ISO 13355: Vertical Random Vibration Testing

ISO 13355 carries out vertical random vibration testing on complete, filled transport packages. The test can be performed in two ways:

  1. As a single test to identify the effects of vertical vibration
  2. As a part of a sequence designed to measure the ability of a package to withstand a distribution system

Generally, the test specimen is filled with its intended contents. However, if this is not possible, a simulated load is used. Conditioning is conducted per ISO 2233: Conditioning for Testing. Testing starts at 6 dB below the test level to allow the system to equalize. The duration varies depending on the test method used in this standard.

ISTA 1G: Random Vibration of Packaging Less Than 150 lbs

ISTA 1G challenges the capability of packaged products that weigh less than 150 lbs to withstand transport hazards. ISTA 1G can also be used to compare the relative performance of package and product design alternatives.

A specified sequence of tests is performed when testing to this standard.

Sequence 1: Atmospheric preconditioning – Temperature and humidity

Sequence 2: Vibration – Random

Sequence 3: Shock – Drop, incline impact, horizontal impact

Other vibration compliance test standards that Keystone can test include, but are not limited to:

Don’t see a standard you are looking for? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action.

Expert Vibration Package Compliance Testing Laboratory

In addition to vibration integrity testing, Keystone Package Testing has an extensive scope of testing expertise including altitude, compression, and burst strength. Furthermore, we have a full lab of test equipment which permits us to provide short lead times on scheduling. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing.

Request a quote to learn firsthand why so many companies partner with Keystone to achieve their vibration package certification needs.