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What is Vertical Compression Package Testing?

Vertical compression integrity testing specifies the resistance of a packaging to complete, filled transport packages. This package test method is also used to assess the performance of a package in terms of the protection it offers to its contents when it is subjected to a compressive force.

Vertical compression testing is performed in one of two ways. First, vertical compression testing can be conducted as a single integrity test to examine the effects of compression or stacking. Second, the test may be a part of a sequence to measure the ability of a package to the distribution system.

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

When packages do not meet the requirements, our engineers assist with finding solutions. Keystone Compliance partners with customers to achieve package compliance. 

Request a quote to receive testing services customized to your specific needs. Have a question about compression integrity testing? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action.

Why is Vertical Compression Compliance Testing Important?

Compressive resistance testing is used to assess a shipping container’s integrity in regards to compressive forces. These forces are found during storage and/or distribution.

Poorly packaged products can be expensive and lead to unwanted costs. Other negative attributes include loss of customer loyalty, a decline in sales, and constant interruptions and delays.

On the other hand, the benefits of testing a package’s ability to withstand the transportation cycle may include:

  • Balanced distribution costs
  • Confidence in product launch
  • Increased customer satisfaction and a growing market share
  • Product to market time reduction

Vertical Compression Integrity Test Procedures

Depending on the test being performed, the package is either conditioned with ASTM D4332: Conditioning of Containers, Packages, or Packaging Components or ISO 2233: Complete, filled transport Packages and Unit Loads – Conditioning for Testing.

Next, samples are chosen to accurately represent a portion of the units manufactured.

The vertical compression test is completed by either using a vertical compression machine in compliance with ASTM D642: Determining Compressive Resistance of Shipping Containers, Components and Unit Loads, or weights and a load spreader.

The vertical compression test is carried out by positioning the product in its intended shipping orientation. If a load spreader is used, it must be larger than the top face of the test item and should be sufficiently rigid to apply a uniform compression force. Regardless of the method, if the test item is shipped on a pallet, testing is completed with an identical pallet on top. 

The platens of the compression test machine are brought together until the test item is contacted. Constant force is applied until it reaches the appropriate value for the product. The compression is held for one hour and then released.

After the vertical compression tests have been completed, a report is written with the following information. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive.

  • Description of contents and inside dimensions
  • Description and specification of materials, i.e. style of container, access holes, and double scores
  • Spacing, size, and type of fasteners and method of closure
  • Detailed results for each test specimen

Keystone Compliance’s Compression Test Equipment and Capabilities

Keystone’s laboratory includes our new compression machine with 60” x 60” platens and a 96” platen opening. This machine can provide up to 45,000 pounds of compression and permits us to complete compression testing on oversized pallets and crates to standards such as ASTM D4169, TAPPI T804, 49 CFR, ASTM D642, and others. We utilize multiple shakers up to 12 kips. Also, our test machines are capable of performing precise drops from different heights and angles.

We utilize more than two dozen climatic chambers with sizes ranging from reach-in to large walk-in chambers up to 1,300 cubic feet. These thermal chambers can accommodate up to entire vehicles and substantial pieces of equipment.

Keystone Compliance owns all the equipment needed to perform professional package integrity testing. Our professional engineers offer the peace of mind that all your package testing needs are met under one roof. We can test flexible and rigid packages of all sizes.

Expert Package Compliance Test Laboratory

Keystone has a full lab of test equipment which permits us to provide short lead times on scheduling. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing. In addition to vertical compression testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including burst strength, tip over, and vibration integrity testing.

Contact us to learn first hand why so many companies partner with Keystone to achieve their vertical compression certification needs. Request a quote to receive testing services customized to your specific needs.