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ISTA 7D Temperature Validation Package Testing

ISTA 7D is a test standard designed to evaluate a package’s relative ability to protect a product against exterior temperatures. This test standard can be used for the development of procedures to be used in shipping or transport. During the testing, the packaging and product are exposed to temperature swings common during real world conditions. While this is occurring, there is constant monitoring of the temperatures inside the package.

This test specification is best used to compare multiple container designs. It is not meant to address all temperature extremes which may be encountered during transportation in any shipping lane. ISTA 7D temeprature validation testing does not expose or test the product and/or packaging for its protection from shock, vibration, or compression.

Only one (1) sample is required for testing but three (3) samples are preferred for temperature validations. Test samples should be the actual package and product when possible. If, for some reason, a substitute product is needed, the substitute should be as close to the actual product as possible. If different quantities of product may be shipped in the same container, testing is completed with both a minimum and maximum pack-out. This is completed in order to validate the packaging for any combination of products.

Temperature validations are meant to replicate packages as they are assembled and shipped. Therefore, it is very important that the test lab be given accurate information regarding conditioning temperatures for all package components. These can include gel packs, the product or other items. This ensures that the tested package will be as comparable as possible to packages being used in transport and the test results will be accurate.

ISTA 7D temperature testing is comprised of three major temperature profiles. These profiles are 24 hour, 48 hour and 72 hour increments. Individual profiles can also be repeated when a longer duration is required. The profiles are below.

  • 24-hour domestic small package express freight transport (Air).
  • 48-hour domestic freight transport (Air)
  • 72-hour international expedited airfreight transport.

Each profile above has two (2) sub profiles. The winter profile refers to shipping and receiving during cold temperatures. The summer profile refers to shipping and receiving during hot temperatures. In addition to the winter and summer profiles, the 72-hour international profile also has a cold shipping/hot receiving and hot shipping/cold receiving alternative.

The majority of ISTA 7D temperature profiles are comprised of four or five temperature cycles that range from two hours to fifty six hours. During each cycle there is a specific temperature cycle that must be maintained throughout the entire test. On the cold end of the spectrum, most cycles range from -10°C to 18°C. The hot cycles range from 22°C to 35°C.

Along with the steady state testing, ramp profile testing is also available, which simulates large temperature swings over shorter time periods. These tests can range from -20°C to 18°C for the cold testing and 22°C to 45°C for the hot testing. Ramp times from one temperature to the next are usually done in two hours.

Sequence #Test CategoryTest TypeTest LevelFor ISTA Certification
1Temperature PreconditioningTemperatureStorage conditions for the product and each package element for 24 hrs. min.Optional
2AtmosphericTemperature1st cycle period of selected test profileRequired
3AtmosphericTemperature2nd cycle period of selected test profileRequired
4AtmosphericTemperatureRemaining cycle periods of selected test profileRequired

Keystone Package Testing is an ISTA-certified test lab with significant experience in ISTA 7D temperature testing and e-commerce package testing. We have dozens of temperature chambers ranging from large walk-in chambers to small reach-in chambers. This allows us to maintain short lead times on scheduling and affordable pricing since we always use the appropriate-sized chamber for your testing.

At Keystone Package Testing we have experienced award-winning growth, due in large part to the customer experience offered. Our technicians and engineers are experts in their field. They design and implement test programs that exceed our customers’ expectations. There is no over testing or under testing. If problems arise, we offer solutions such as alternatives for package design or packaging materials.

Our ISTA 7D test reports are concise and completed in a timely manner once the test program is done. Contact us to receive a quote. You will see firsthand why so many companies partner with Keystone to perform their ISTA 7D temperature testing. In addition to ISTA 7D, Keystone is also accredited to ISTA 7E cold chain testing.