ISTA 3A

ISTA 3A is a general simulation test for individual packaged-products shipped through a parcel delivery system.  The test is appropriate for four different types of packages commonly distributed as individual packages, either by air or ground.  The types include standard, small, flat and elongated packages. ISTA 3A includes an optional test combining Random Vibration under Low Pressure (simulated high altitude). This tests the container’s (whether primary package of transport package) ability to hold a seal of closure and the retention of contents (liquid, powder or gas) without leaking.

STANDARD packaged-products shall be defined as:

  • Any packaged-product that does not meet any of the definitions below for a small, flat or elongated packaged-product.
  • A standard packaged-product may be packages such as traditional fiberboard cartons, as well as plastic, wooden or cylindrical containers.

SMALL packaged-products shall be defined as any packaged-product where the:

  • Volume is less than 13,000 cm3 (800 in3) and
  • Longest dimension is 350mm (14in) or less and
  • Weight is 4.5kg (10lb) or less.

FLAT packaged-products shall be defined as any packaged-product where the:

  • Shortest dimension is 200mm (8in) or less and
  • Next longest dimension is four (4) or more times larger than the shortest dimension, and
  • Volume is 13,000 cm3 (800in3) or greater

ELONGATED packaged-products shall be defined as any packaged-product where the:

  • Longest dimension is 900mm (36in) or greater and
  • Both of the packages other dimensions are each 2 percent or less of that of the longest dimension.

The chart below is from ISTA 3A the standard and provides more guidance on the testing procedure and requirements:

Test Sequence STANDARD

Sequence # Test Category Test Type For ISTA Certification
1 Atmospheric Preconditioning TEST BLOCK 1 Temperature and Humidity Required
2 Atmospheric Conditioning TEST BLOCK 1 Controlled Temperature and Humidity Optional
3 Shock TEST BLOCK 3 Drop Required
4 Vibration TEST BLOCK 4 & 7 for Standard TEST BLOCKS 5 & 7 for Pails and Short Cylinders Random Vibration Under Low Pressure Required
5 Vibration TEST BLOCKS 2 & 8 Random Vibration Under Low Pressure Optional
6 Shock TEST BLOCK 9 Drop Required

 

Test Sequence SMALL

Sequence # Test Category Test Type For ISTA Certification 
1 Atmospheric Preconditioning TEST BLOCK 1 Temperature and Humidity Required
2 Atmospheric Preconditioning TEST BLOCK 1 Controlled Temperature and Humidity Optional
3 Shock-TEST BLOCK 3 Drop Required
4 Vibration TEST BLOCKS 6 & 7 Random with and without Top Load Required
5 Vibration TEST BLOCKS 2 & 8 Random Vibration Under Low Pressure Optional
6 Shock TEST BLOCK 9 Drop Required

 

Test Sequence FLAT

Sequence # Test Category Test Type For ISTA Certification
1 Atmospheric Preconditioning TEST BLOCK 1 Temperature and Humidity Required
2 Atmospheric Conditioning TEST BLOCK 1 Controlled Temperature and Humidity Optional
3 Shock TEST BLOCK 3 Drop Required
4 Vibration TEST BLOCKS 4 & 7 Random with and without Top Load Required
5 Vibration TEST BLOCKS 2 & 6 Random Vibration Under Low Pressure Optional
6 Shock TEST BLOCK 9 Drop Required
7 Shock TEST BLOCK 10 Rotational Edge Drop Required
8 Shock TEST BLOCK 11 Full Rotational Flat Drop Required
9 Shock TEST BLOCK 12 Concentrated Impact Required

 

Test Sequence ELONGATED

Sequence # Test Category Test Type For ISTA Certification
1 Atmospheric Preconditioning TEST BLOCK 1 Temperature and Humidity Required
2 Atmospheric Conditioning TEST BLOCK 1 Controlled Temperature and Humidity Optional
3 Shock TEST BLOCK 3 Drop Required
4 Vibration TEST BLOCKS 4 & 7 Random with and without Top Load Required
5 Vibration TEST BLOCKS 2 & 8 Random Vibration Under Low Pressure Optional
6 Shock TEST BLOCK 9 Drop Required
7 Shock TEST BLOCK 10 Rotational Edge Drop Required
8 Shock TEST BLOCK 11 Full Rotational Flat Drop Required
9 Shock TEST BLOCK 13 Bridge Impact Required

 

As an ISTA-certified package testing lab, Keystone Compliance can meet your package testing needs, including ISTA 3A. By providing quick turnarounds, competitive pricing and engineering assistance, Keystone Compliance has become a leader in the package test lab industry. Receiving a quote to complete ISTA-3A testing is as easy as completing our online quote form or calling us at (724) 657-9940.