Compression testing is among the essential tests used to attain an efficient protective packaging tailored to the type of goods to be transported.
This type of test is mainly used to determine how a material behaves or responds to compression forces. It can be used to determine the resistance to compression, the elastic limit and the resistance to tears, among other parameters.
In addition to the information obtained from the test and the values associated to the package, it is possible to determine whether the material is suitable or if it will fail under the specified strains. This information is highly valuable during the package design phase, as well as during its validation phase.
Generally, compression testing is performed by applying a compression pressure on the sample being tested through the use of a compressometer.
Choosing the right compression testing machine is therefore essential for this type of testing.
We will discuss all there is to know about the compression machine and how compression testing helps companies optimize their packaging.
What is a compression testing machine?
A compression testing machine is a testing machine specifically designed to evaluate the resistance of materials and products to compression forces.
Safe Load Testing Technologies has developed the innPress family, composed of several Compression Tester models used to perform compression tests, as well as creep performance tests on shipping containers, pallets and load units.
This system allows for the performance of proprietary tests and for compliance with the ASTM, ISTA and ISO 8611 international standards, since the accessories that are required to perform those tests can be included.
In order to perform the tests, the sample is placed on the base of the compressometer and the compression plate moves until it touches the sample, applying the compression forces specified by the technician. Meanwhile, the machine measures the displacement of the compression platen by means of a linear encoder with micrometric precision, and the force with a load cell.
Safe Load TT machines feature intuitive controls which, through the use of a touchscreen, allow for simple test performance and control of all variables.
Discover how we helped Grifal with our compression tester
Grifal, the Italian company dedicated to providing packaging solutions, has relied on Safe Load Testing Technologies to complete its transport simulation laboratory by purchasing new packaging testing machines. We analyze step by step the process and the advantages obtained by Grifal Spa with this equipment.
Other technical specifications include:
- Electrical solution
- Maximum compression force of up to 200 kN
- 2,400 mm displacement
- Testing table in different sizes
- Compression speed: 5-200 mm/min
- Load precision: <0.5%
- Position precision: <0.1 mm
- Automatic report generation
In addition, all innPress family solutions allow for real time testing and have an intuitive design with different preset testing modes:
- Constant rate
- Press & hold
- Press & release
Compression testing machine: uses
A compression testing machine can be used to access essential information to determine whether a product+package system is ready for release to the real-world distribution cycle.
Compressive testing is typically applied to materials such as plastics, metals, ceramics, or corrugated cardboard since their ability to withstand these forces will be essential during shipping, handling and storage.
In the case of packaging, it is tested against the typical compression forces of the distribution cycle. One example is the implementation of these testing methods to corrugated boxes that will be stacked during storage or transportation.
Compression testing can be implemented to obtain two types of results:
- To obtain the maximum resistance to compression:
This involves using a compression testing machine to obtain the value at which the system starts to fail. In the case of the more fragile materials, this happens when the product breaks.
On the other hand, in products with high ductility, the result of the test is a deformation percentage based on the dimensions of the material.
- To comply with international standards:
Certain standards by organizations such as ASTM, ISTA and ISO include a compression test among their testing protocols. In this case, each standard will outline the desired end result and the manner in which the simulation is to be performed.
Some such examples are the EN 15552:2008 Packaging standard, the ASTM D4169-16 standard, several ISTA 1C, D; 2A, B; F, H; and 4 Series Procedures; 6-FEDEX; 6-SAMSCLUB, 6-AMAZON.COM and ASTM D695-15, which measures the compression properties of rigid plastics.
Advantages of using a compression testing machine
Nowadays, compression testing machine technology allows for precise results, thereby making it easy for companies to obtain information on how their packaging will react to the compression forces that they will encounter during the distribution cycle.
Furthermore, it allows for test repeatability to compare and validate samples, enabling companies to design a package that is:
> Safer, able to provide protection against compression forces. This, in turn, translates into lower costs associated with shrinkage.
> Cheaper, striking a balance between materials that are safe and economically efficient.
> More sustainable, by endowing the company with the ability to optimize the amount of material used and to choose and test eco-friendly packaging materials.
If you are looking to optimize your packaging and reduce costs, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Our compression testing machines combine state-of-the-art technology with decades of experience in packaging-oriented simulation.
Moreover, since we develop all of our proprietary solutions, we can tailor our machines to the specific needs of your company, designing an ad-hoc compression testing machine that aligns with your requirements.