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What is Compression Package Testing?

Compression Pallet Integrity Testing

Compression testing measures the resistance of packaging to an applied constant load. This type of testing can occur hydraulically, pneumatically, or mechanically. It is designed to subject a package or container to a predetermined load, whether filled or empty.

Stacking testing is carried out very similarly to compression testing. A predetermined load is maintained for a predetermined time or until collapse occurs. If a collapse occurs, the value of the time elapsed is recorded, the dimensions are measured, and the contents of the package are examined.

As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, we realize the importance of compression integrity testing. Meeting the compliance testing requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process. Ready to get started? Request a quote to see why so many manufacturers trust Keystone Compliance for all their package integrity needs.

Why is Compression Package Testing Important?

In the distribution system, packages can be stored over a long period. It is not uncommon for the package to be stored with one or more containers stacked on top of each other.

Failures may occur in any layer of the packaging. Due to these failures, manufacturers can spend unnecessary time focusing on return shipments and product repairs, which will lead to lost sales, lost loyalty, and more.

At Keystone Compliance, our goal is to never over-test packages while still performing all the necessary functions and any compression testing our customers need.

Compression Integrity Test Process

Generally, a test lab and manufacturer collaborate on a pass or fail test criteria. In many cases, passing criteria are defined as the unit being damage-free and intact. The performance criteria must be established before the start of the testing.

Depending on the purpose of the test, interior packing may or may not be necessary. For most testing standards, multiple samples are recommended.

When required, the samples must be conditioned for the compression test by exposure to fixed temperature and humidity conditions. A standard package conditioning test is ASTM D4332: Conditioning Containers, Packages, or Packaging Components, which describes atmospheric temperatures, relative humidity, and times for packages to be conditioned.

A compression machine or weight is then used to apply a constant load to a package. Next, observations are made. If a collapse occurs, information regarding the collapse is recorded. This includes the damage to the container and its contents.

Lastly, a report is written with the following information. This list is not intended to encompass all the details of the report.

  • Dimensions of the container under test,
  • Description of the contents, if any,
  • Acceptance criteria that have been established,
  • Date, time, and name of the engineer conducting the test,
  • Any conditioning performed,
  • A report of the test results on each container.

Keystone’s Compression Test Equipment and Capabilities

Our new package testing laboratory includes multiple compression/tensile testers. We have dozens of climatic chambers with sizes ranging up to 1,300 cubic feet and shakers up to 12 kips.

ASTM D4577: Compression Resistance of Containers

Designed to subject a container, empty or filled, to a predetermined static load.

ASTM D4577 is used for palletized or unitized load configurations. In the distribution system, there is a phase where packages may be stored over a specified period. These packages may be stored in a manner such that one or more containers are superimposed one upon another.

ISO 12048: Compression and Stacking

Used to model stacking in which the test investigates performance under particular conditions of load.

ISO 12048 evaluates packages in terms of performance in strength or the protection it offers to their contents. This test is applicable when the unit is subjected to compressive forces. The test method operates until failure occurs or until a predetermined load is applied for a predetermined time.

ISO 2234: Stacking Using Static Load

Assesses the strength of a package or unit load when subjected to stacking.

The test standard is also used to investigate package performance under particular conditions of loading. An example includes when the bottom package in a stack rests on an open-decked pallet; or when the profile of the superimposed load is eccentric. The ISO 2234 testing process applies an evenly distributed load on the unit from above.

Expert Compression Integrity Testing Laboratory

In addition to compression testing, we have a full scope of expertise including vibration, drop, and accelerated aging. Additionally, our lab can test packages ranging from small boxes to oversized pallets. Keystone Compliance is an ISO-17025 and ISTA accredited lab that provides the peace of mind that all your compliance testing needs are met. We provide immediate scheduling, a consultative approach, and expedited reports.

Contact us for more information on compression package compliance testing. Request a quote to learn why we are one of the fastest-growing compliance test labs in the country.