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ISTA 4AB covers testing of 12 different package types, 4 handling types, and 7 types of load-carrying materials or combinations; any hazard (test) element may be assigned one of three intensities. Program inputs and test plans may be in English or metric units.

The test sequence is tailored to individual situations with usage of up-to-date and specific hazard profiles and parameters.  Unlike Focused Simulation, 4AB does not require the user to make quantitative field measurements and translate those into laboratory tests.  Measurement-derived test protocols are included as part of the simulation.  Once the item to be shipped and the distribution system, means, and configurations are defined, a test plan is generated without further input.

The tests shall be performed on each test sample in the sequence indicated in the 4AB Test Plan generated.

The chart below is from ISTA 4AB the standard and provides more guidance on the testing procedure and requirements:

Sequence #Test CategoryTest TypeFor ISTA Certification
1Atmospheric ConditioningControlled Temperature and HumidityIf Required
3VibrationRandom Vibration with and/or without a Top LoadRequired
3CompressionMachine Apply and Release Force Apply and 12-Hour HoldIf Required
3VibrationRandom Vibration with and/or without a Top LoadRequired
4CompressionMachine Apply and Release Force Apply and 12-Hour HoldRequired


As an ISTA-certified package testing lab, Keystone Compliance can meet your package testing needs, including ISTA 4AB. By providing quick turnarounds, competitive pricing and engineering assistance, Keystone Compliance has become a leader in the package test lab industry. Receiving a quote to complete ISTA-4AB testing is as easy as completing our online quote form or calling us at (724) 657-9940.