Select Page

drop testing

Drop Testing

What is Drop Testing?

Drop testing, also known as dynamic impact testing, determines effects on test parts of random drops and repeated impacts due to handling, shipping, and other field service conditions.

Drop testing is an accelerated test designed to indicate structural and mechanical weaknesses of types not necessarily detected in shock and vibration tests. Drop testing can help determine the survivability of a product’s packaging. This will ultimately help manufacturers identify potential warranty issues from poor packaging or improper handling instructions.

Regardless of the method of shipment, air, sea, rail, or over the road, impacts are common. Impacts may be inflicted by adjacent freight jostling against the package in a carrier vehicle. 

Additionally, dynamic impacts may occur by accidental bumps against other freight when loaded or unloaded from vehicles, by packages bumping during sorting on conveyors, or any other circumstances.

Drop Testing Procedures

Keystone Compliance recommends testing packages to ISTA Series for drop and general simulation testing.

ISTA 3A Testing

ISTA 3A package testing is a dynamics test for individual packaged-products shipped through a parcel delivery system. The ISTA 3A testing standard is applicable for four different types of packages commonly distributed as individual packages, either by air or ground. 

ISTA 3A test drop heights may vary per package. Examples of fragile products include ceramics, clay, electronics glass, and porcelains. Liquids include fluids as well as semi-liquids and solids that can become liquids if they are exposed to temperatures in excess of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

STANDARD packaged products – Any packaged product that does not meet any of the definitions below for a small, flat or elongated packaged product. A standard packaged product is packaged such as traditional fiberboard cartons, as well as plastic, wooden or cylindrical containers.

SMALL packaged products – 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 – Any packaged product where: The shortest dimension is 200mm (8in) or less. The next longest dimension is four (4) or more times larger than the shortest dimension. Volume is 13,000 cm3 (800in3) or greater.

ELONGATED packaged products – Any packaged product where: The longest dimension is 900mm (36in) or greater. Both of the packages’ other dimensions are each 2 percent or less of that of the longest dimension.

Equipment and Capabilities

Our drop test machine is capable of precise drops from different heights at different angles and onto different surfaces. Our three shakers can simulate loose cargo test conditions that might be experienced as a product is in transit.

Keystone is a drop test lab capable of testing products to the package testing requirements of various drop testing standards including:

ASTM D5276 Drop Testing of Loaded Containers: Evaluates testing loaded boxes, cylindrical containers, and bags/sacks by the free-fall drop method. Applies to containers that are less than 110lbs.

ASTM D5487 Simulated Drop by Shock Machines: Covers the general procedures and sustainability of using shock machines to replicate the effects of vertical drops.

MIL-STD 810 Test Method 516 Shock Testing: Evaluates adverse effects on the physical and functional integrity of material. Damage potentially includes the amplitude, velocity, and duration of the shock.

MIL-STD 202 Random Drop Testing: Determines the effects of random, repeated impact on component parts. Random impacts are often due to handling, shipping, and other field service conditions.

Don’t see the standard you are looking for? Please contact us for more information on how we can assist you with your drop test needs. 

Keystone Regulatory Compliance Drop Testing

Drop laboratory testing is just one of the dynamic testing services that our lab is fully equipped to perform. Keystone Compliance has an extensive scope of testing procedures for MIL STD-810, ASTM, ISTA, and other package integrity testing standards such as acceleration, climatic, and vibration testing.

Ready to get started? We are. Contact us to see why so many companies work with us to achieve their package integrity standard testing needs. Request a quote and find out first hand about our competitive pricing, timely process, and outstanding reputation.