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ASTM D3103 Standard Test Method for Thermal Insulation Performance of Distribution Packages

ASTM D3103 Thermal Insulation Testing

ASTM D3103 covers the thermal insulation quality of a package. As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, we realize the importance of package thermal insulation testing. Meeting the ASTM D3103 compliance laboratory requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Keystone Compliance offers pricing that is competitive and volume discounts. We provide comprehensive reports shortly after completion of the testing. Our proven process helps avoid product launch delays. Keystone Compliance takes pride in having a reputation of helping customers achieve their package certifications.

Request a quote to see why so many companies partner with Keystone Compliance. Have a question about ASTM D3103? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action.

Summary of ASTM D3103 Thermal Insulation Performance of Distribution Packages

The scope of ASTM D3103 thermal insulation compliance standard covers the determination of the thermal insulation quality of a package and the thermal stability of its contents when exposed to variable ambient temperature conditions. ASTM D3103 testing is suitable for testing packages with various internal energy sources with or without product payloads.

ASTM D3103 package integrity testing is intended for evaluating the performance and sustainability of thermal insulated packaging used for high value, high-risk materials. This package test method may also be used for any product that requires accurate internal package temperature readings while being exposed to a range of external air temperatures.

Scope of Thermal Insulation Transportation Testing

Certain items, such as biological materials, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and blood products, must be shipped inside temperature-controlled packages. Factors affecting the rate of heat transfer of the package include the insulation of the exterior package, the energy source, and the product payload.

Because of the variety of factors affecting the performance of a thermally insulated package, ASTM D3103 compliance testing should be conducted with the actual package whenever possible. When simulated packages are used, special care must be exercised so that the simulated payload and coolant will be as close as possible to the actual packages in temperature and other relevant physical properties.

ASTM 3103 Thermal Insulation Lab Testing Procedures

First, the desired test packaging configuration is documented to identify all necessary components, locations, thermocouple locations, test equipment, test conditions, and test start time. The sensors are calibrated using the NIST-traceable standard. Next, the sensors are place in a stable temperature bath. The temperatures are recorded from the sensors independently for a minimum of three sensor points.

Pre-conditioning is completed for all packaging material, refrigerants, and products at specific pre-test temperatures. Pre-conditioning is carried out for a minimum of 24 hours. Additionally, sufficient time is needed for all the material to reach their desired temperature.

The probes are generally attached to the wall of the primary product package, if possible. When attaching said probes, the sensor areas must be avoided as to not inhibit the sensor’s ability to read temperatures. The number of probes per wall is dependent on the size and number of primary containers. In general, a minimum of 5 to 10 probes are used on payloads of up to 25 packages.

When a cooling or heat source is used, the weighed and measured quantity of refrigerant is placed in the package as specified in the ASTM 3103 integrity protocols. 

After the completion of the testing procedures, a report is expedited and can contain the following:

  • Dimensions of the package under test;
  • Structural specifications;
  • Materials of Construction;
  • Description of the item(s) and secondary packaging materials;
  • Diagram of the internal thermal components;
  • Temperature and relative humidity of the test environment;
  • Description of the physical state of the contents at the end of the test;
  • Evaluation of the test with respect to the effectiveness of storage.

Expert ASTM D3103 Package Integrity Laboratory Testing

Keystone Compliance is a full-service ASTM D3103 sustainability package test lab. Our ASTM D3103 package testing knowledge and experience expedite the test process and assists our customers with overcoming challenges when they arise. Contact us to discuss your package testing needs or to request a quote.