ASTM D4169-22 Package Integrity Testing
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has updated standard D4169. The previous version of this standard was created in 2016 (D4169-16), and the newest version was published in 2022 (D4169-22). ASTM D4169 evaluates the package integrity of shipping containers and systems to withstand the distribution environment.
What are the Differences Between ASTM D4169-16 and D4169-22?
Air Profile Testing
There was a major change in the vibration profile for air shipment. The new section discusses details pertaining to air profile testing. The updated ASTM D4169-22 standard explains that all three test levels (low, medium, and high) are used for a better understanding of actual air vibration environments.
- Low Level for 27 minutes.
- Medium Level for 10 minutes.
- High Level for 3 minutes.
This 40 minute test cycle is looped 3 times to meet the 120 minute duration. If the duration varies from 120 minutes, a specified calculation is used.
For a 3-hour duration specified vibrations are required:
- 120 minutes of Low Level.
- 45 minutes of Medium Level.
- 15 minutes of High Level.
Decrease in Overall Grms (overall energy or acceleration level of random vibration)
Vibrations from air profiles are constantly being recorded. As technology progresses, ASTM has narrowed the Power Spectral density Levels needed to test packaging for air vibrations. These records are then reproduced during integrity testing.
ASTM D4169-16 only allows one of three assurance levels to be chosen (I, II, or III). On the other hand, ASTM D4169-22 vibration testing cycles through all high, medium, and low density levels. Additionally, ASTM D4169 changes from 4 frequencies (2, 12, 100, and 300) in 2016 to 6 frequencies in 2022 (1, 2, 42, 50, 120, and 200).
ASTM D4169-22 testing power spectrum density levels have significantly decreased since 2016. The decrease of air density levels leads to less strenuous ASTM D4169-22 test requirements.
Summary of ASTM D4169 Compliance
For those not familiar, this laboratory package testing standard is accomplished by subjecting the unit to a sequence of hazards found in the distribution cycle.
- Generally, ASTM D4169 requires the unit to remain unopened until the sequence of tests is completed. Acceptance criteria is established before testing.
- Test specimens must consist of samples of complete shipping units. This includes actual contents.
- If the distribution cycle contains climatic conditions, conditioning for this test is usually required. The units are conditioned to 73.3 °F and 50% relative humidity.
- The procedure is carried out per a specified test plan.
- Lastly, the results are evaluated and documented.
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