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The importance of impact testing in packaging validation.

In the last decade, the distribution of goods and products at a global level has played a fundamental role in the economies of any company. That is why logistics and product distribution have become critical aspects for the success of any organization. In this context, impact tests play a fundamental role, making the difference between generating profits and incurring additional expenses.

Impact testing in packaging validation is an essential step, as these tests ensure the quality of packaging materials and their ability to protect products during transportation and storage.

During the complex distribution cycle, goods face multiple challenges that can affect their integrity. Indeed, one of the most significant factors is the mechanical handling of large containers and pallets, which is especially common in maritime transportation. Drops from significant heights and small falls caused by manual handling, as well as accelerations, decelerations, and sudden stops during transportation, can generate harmful impacts.

Faced with these threats, companies have learned that prevention is the best strategy. The implementation of an impact testing protocol becomes essential to examine potential damages that may arise during distribution. Through these tests, it is possible to characterize and design suitable packaging that is capable of withstanding impacts and effectively protecting the goods.

Furthermore, this type of testing directly impacts the brand image and, therefore, the satisfaction of the end consumer.

Impact testing and the integrity of packaging.

The integrity of packaging can be affected and even seriously compromised during the transportation of goods. For this reason, impact and drop testing assess the packaging’s resistance, obtaining crucial information for its design.

Impact and drop testing are simulation tests conducted in laboratory environments to replicate the most common impacts that goods experience during their distribution cycle. These impacts include falls from various heights, collisions between goods within the transport medium, and collisions against other objects.

These impact and drop tests allow anticipating how possible impacts during transportation and storage will affect the cargo. The importance of these tests lies in their ability to measure how much energy a material can absorb during an impact, providing an accurate measure of its strength or fragility against such contingencies.

Products damaged during distribution mean additional costs and a bad reputation, leading to the loss of customers and affecting the company’s competitiveness. Investing in impact testing and durable packaging is crucial to avoid these consequences and maintain customer trust.

The impact test:

What is the impact test?

In the case of impact load tests, four main modalities are used:

  1. Direct impact: The goods are impacted against a surface at a specific velocity.
  2. Moving object impact: The sample is kept fixed, and it is struck using a moving object.
  3. Pendulum impact: The impact is generated using a machine that simulates pendulum movements.
  4. Carriage impact: The sample is placed on a carriage that is struck against a surface at a specific velocity, thus simulating typical impacts during the transportation of goods. The carriage can move on a horizontal or inclined surface.

In this way, precise results are obtained to design packaging with suitable materials and protections for the product being shipped.

To conduct these simulations, there are several solutions available in the market, such as the horizontal impact machine and the inclined impact machine. The horizontal impact machine allows simulating significant shocks and impacts that affect the safety and stability of the cargo, as well as accelerations and decelerations during transportation. On the other hand, the inclined impact machine evaluates the load’s ability to withstand horizontal impacts or compressive forces using the force of gravity.

The importance of the impact test in the validation of packaging

Some impact testing standards include ASTM D880, ASTM D4004, ISO 2244, and ASTM D5277. If you understand the importance of impact testing to protect your goods during transportation and handling, we invite you to learn more about our transport simulation solutions, where you can conduct impact and drop load tests.

The drop test:

What is the drop test?

Drop tests are a simulation of vertical falls that occur during manual or automatic handling of the load. In this test, the merchandise is dropped from a specific height onto an impact surface, typically the floor, to evaluate its resistance to the impact.

En este ensayo, la mercancía se deja caer desde una altura específica hasta una superficie de impacto, generalmente el suelo, para evaluar su resistencia al golpe. Some standards that include the drop impact test are ISO 2248, ASTM D5276, ASTM D6179, and ISTA 3A.

La importancia del ensayo de impacto en la validación del packaging

How to perform an impact and drop test?

Impact tests, conducted using our innShock and innDrop machines, follow a process:

Material selection: It is important to choose the appropriate testing equipment to perform a test with our load unit. Testing our product on the appropriate machine will ensure obtaining consistent and accurate results.

Test design: In this initial phase, it is essential to define how the test will be conducted to achieve the desired results, as well as to determine the type of impact and the force with which it will be applied.

Test execution: To comply with ISTA methodologies and certifications, the preparation and execution protocol described in the test must be followed, placing the load to be tested on the impact machine and securing it properly.

Data recording and storage: Checking the test results and identifying any potential failures or hazards to address them promptly. Storing the data allows for repeating the tests and reproducing the impacts with the same characteristics.

Impact testing machines, types, and characteristics:

Safe Load Testing Technologies has developed two impact models to carry out tests and obtain ISTA, ASTM, and EUMOS certifications.

Horizontal Impact

  • Maximum load up to 2,000 kg.
  • Impact speed of up to 4 m/s.
  • Independent impact control N2.
  • Sinusoidal and trapezoidal shock pulses.
  • Shock isolation: steel reaction mass seismic.
  • Automatic test report generator.
  • Intuitive user control.

Inclined Impact.

  • Impact speed of up to 2.5 m/s.
  • Maximum load capacity of up to 2,000 kg.
  • Test platform in various sizes.
  • Smooth displacement.
  • Hydraulic damper.
  • 10⁰ inclined plane.

Horizontal and inclined impact tests are necessary to comply with many ISTA certifications such as: 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1G, 1H, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3B, 3H, and 3K.

These two models are also required to comply with ASTM D 880, ASTM D4332, or ASTM D4003.

Drop testing machines, types, and characteristics:

Safe Load Testing Technologies has developed two impact models to carry out tests and obtain ISTA, ASTM, and EUMOS certifications.

  • Safe Load Testing Technologies has developed two impact models based on the size of the load and packaging.
  • Fall of up to 2m.
  • Steel impact surface.
  • Intuitive controller with a touchscreen display.
  • Ability to control the orientation of the fall.
  • Hydraulic dampers to reduce noise.
  • Maximum load of up to 1500 kg / 3306 lbs.
  • Guaranteed repeatability.
El papel de los ensayos de packaging en el proceso de diseño
El papel de los ensayos de packaging en el proceso de diseño

Drop tests are necessary to comply with many of the ISTA certifications, such as: 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1G, 1H, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3B, 3H, and 3K.

These two models are also required to comply with ASTM D 880, ASTM D4332, or ASTM D4003.

Contact our team of experts to get more information; we will be delighted to advise you and address any questions you may have.