Throughout the distribution cycle, containers are subjected to a number of forces that can compromise their protective ability, such as random vibrations. The ASTM D4728 – 17 aims to prevent this problem in order to design effective systems that guarantee the safety of transported loads.
To this end, the ASTM D4728 standard outlines the performance of vibration testing on a shipping container with the purpose of testing the way in which it reacts to this force. By applying a random vibration to a container, its internal packaging and sealing, it is possible to evaluate its performance in regard to resistance and protection.
What is ASTM D4728?
ASTM D4728 is a random vibration testing standard for filled shipping units developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and part of the ASTM standards list.
It is meant to be used to analyze the interaction between a packaging unit, its interior packing and its closure means, in order to determine if it provides the right protection for the contents when faced by random vibration inputs.
Thus, the testing method simulates in a packaging laboratory the damages that these vibration forces may cause in a real-life distribution environment. This is done in order to prevent the damages from happening by designing the right packaging + product system. After applying this testing method, redesigns may include adjustments on the shipping container, its interior packing, its means of closure and/or its contents.
ASTM D4728 is performed using ASTM-certified vibration equipment. Besides, in order to obtain representative field data, companies may resort to recording actual vibrations field data using a Data Recorder.
The ASTM D4728 method also provides information on how to use vibration data while testing shipping containers’ protection capabilities against the complex dynamic stresses in the distribution environment.
What does ASTM D4728 measure, who is it aimed at and why should the standard be applied?
By performing random vibration testing standards it is possible to simulate the vibrations that take place during the distribution cycle. According to the ASTM D4728 standard, vibrations can affect both the container and the packaging, as well as the sealing and the products being transported.
The ASTM D4728 protocol enables the analysis of the way these components interact thanks to the performance of a vibration test for packaging that encourages the creation of resonances within a shipping container and the load that it contains, as would happen in a distribution scenario. This prevents damages and allows for the appropriate actions to be taken. For example, modifying the design of one or all of these components can lead to an optimal performance during shipping.
The ASTM D4728 vibration test protocol should be taken into account by companies whose distribution cycle involves transportation through the use of a shipping container.
The benefits of applying the ASTM D4728 protocol include, among others:
- Shrinkage cost savings for the goods being transported
- Optimization and standardization of the components that compose a container unit
- Customer guarantees
Maybe you’ll be interested in: ASTM Standards list
What vibration testing equipment is required to perform the ASTM D4728 protocol?
The ASTM D4728 guide outlines how samples are to be prepared for testing, the required safety measures, the procedure that must be followed and the way in which the report of final results should be made. There are also specifications regarding the required vibration test system to perform the protocol.
According to the ASTM D4728 standard, the vibration testing system (shaker) should have a vibration table that is sufficiently resistant and rigid so that applied vibrations remain uniform across the entire testing surface when the sample to be tested is loaded.
In addition, it must have an electronic controller that can generate the actuation inputs for the vibration system that can cause the desired power spectral density on the surface of the table that is adjacent to the test sample.
Our vertical vibration system can apply random vibrations on a shipping container as per ASTM specifications. This machine offers features such as a hydraulic system and an independent controller developed by Real Vibrations.
Furthermore, the system allows for the reproduction of PSD recordings generated by our Data Recorder or other devices, which is essential when obtaining results that are closer to real conditions, since, as outlined in the ASTM D4728 – 17 standard, whenever possible, the random vibration tests must be based on representative field data with the purpose of obtaining more reliable results when comparing lab test results with the real effects of shipping in the field.
In addition, we have created our patented Pitch & Roll technology – a module that can be added to any vibration machine, to bring these motions closer to real transportation conditions. This module allows for the simulation of the pitch and roll movements that take place during the distribution cycle.
When combined with vertical vibrations, the Pitch & Roll module does not only meet the ASTM D4728 vibration testing standards, but also allows companies to go one step further in the protection of shipped goods.
At Safe Load Testing Technologies we have a track record of two decades in the transport simulation industry. We are one of the leading companies in the world that can develop personalized equipment with patented technology and ready to deploy.
Do you want to know more about the ASTM D4728 testing method and how to comply with it? Contact us and let’s talk about how we can help you.