Select Page

What is Bridge Impact Testing?

Bridge Impact Package Integrity Testing

Bridge impact integrity testing is intended for long packages to resist impact near their center. However, bridge impact testing is generally used when a package is supported only at its ends. The two optional procedures are designed to impart the same amount of kinetic energy at impact. Therefore, each procedure yields equal damage-producing potential.

As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, Keystone Compliance realizes the importance of bridge impact testing. Meeting the bridge impact compliance requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process. 

Ready to get started? Request a quote and find out first hand about our competitive pricing, timely process, and outstanding reputation. Have a question about simulated mechanical impact testing equipment (S.M.I.T.E.)? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action.

Why is Bridge Impact Testing Important?

The materials shipped in elongated packages are susceptible to negative effects. Damage occurs during the shipment of packing mixed dimensions. Bridge impact testing provides a means of determining if the cross-section of a package can resist damage from impacts.

Damaged packaging and products can bring about expensive replacement fees. On average, companies lose about $1 billion per year as a result of shipping damage. A harsh distribution system can also result in a decline in sales, lost customer loyalty, and constant interruptions and delays. Many of these costs can be significantly reduced or eliminated with the proper testing and certification.

Package testing will ensure packaging integrity throughout transportation to mitigate risks. When correctly performing bridge impact compliance testing, manufacturers see improvements such as:

  • Product to market time reduction
  • Confidence in product launch
  • Reduced damages and product loss
  • Balanced distribution costs
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Growing market share

Bridge Impact Testing Procedure

Keystone Compliance recommends bridge impact testing to ASTM D5265. This test type allows the user to select from two options.

Procedure A employs the use of a free-fall drop tester.

Procedure B makes use of simulated mechanical impact testing equipment.

Several samples are chosen to permit an adequate determination of representative performance. For large production runs, lot sampling is advised.

It is recommended to fill the package with actual or load simulating contents. Depending on the purpose of the integrity test, packages are conditioned before the bridge impact test. Generally, fiberboard packages are conditioned per ASTM Method D4332: Conditioning Containers, Packages, or Packaging Containers for Testing.

Procedure A

Procedure A includes the package placed on the test floor of the drop test apparatus. Support blocks are placed parallel to each other and perpendicular to the long axis of the package. An impactor is positioned on the drop table. It must be noted that the edge of the impactor should strike the package so that the plane containing this edge makes no more than a 5-degree angle.

The bottom edge of the impactor is required to drop from a specified height above the upper surface of the package being tested. The impactor is then dropped on the package’s narrow cross-section to produce a specified impact velocity.

Procedure B

Procedure B places the package to be tested on the table of the Simulated Mechanical Impact Testing Equipment (S.M.I.T.E.) test apparatus. The support blocks are placed parallel to each other and perpendicular to the long axis of the package.

Next, an impactor is positioned so that it will strike the package with a long edge. The midpoint of the bottom edge must strike the midpoint of the package being tested.

Lastly, the impactor is dropped from a machine height to generate a specific impact velocity. If no impact velocity is specified, 48 in/s is used.

The report may include information such as:

  • Mass of the impactor
  • Method of conditioning the container
  • Drop height
  • Description of the contents of the container being tested
  • Dimensions of the package under testing
  • Test results of each specimen
  • Date, time, and name of test engineer

For more information on drop testing procedures, follow the links below:


Rotational Corner Drop

Rotational Edge Drop

Rotational Flat Drop


Keystone’s Bridge Impact Equipment and Capabilities

Keystone’s test machines are capable of precise drops from different heights and angles. Furthermore, our package testing laboratory includes multiple compression testers and shakers up to 12 kips.

We utilize more than two dozen climatic chambers ranging from reach-in to large walk-in chambers. Our 1,300 ft3 chambers can accommodate up to entire vehicles and substantial pieces of equipment. Keystone can test flexible and rigid packages of all shapes and sizes.

Expert Bridge Impact Package Testing Lab

In addition to bridge impact testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including sterile barrier, bubble leak, and parcel integrity testing. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing.

Contact us to receive more information on bridge impact integrity testing. Request a quote to receive testing services customized to your specific needs.