A mechanical shock test is one of the most important procedures to guarantee the safety of a load during the distribution cycle.     

Contained in a number of international standards, it is a basic test to certify the protective capabilities of the container and packaging against contingencies experienced during transportation. Furthermore, there are different types of mechanical shock tests, as we will see in this post.


Mechanical shock test: what it is and what it is used for

  • Mechanical shock tests determine the resistance of a package against sudden, abrupt shocks during shipping and handling, among other situations. 
  • Shock testing methods can prevent the effect of these shocks and optimize the packaging accordingly. 


Why you should subject your packaging to shock tests

Performing mechanical shock tests offers a series of advantages: 

  • Optimizing the packaging, saving costs and avoiding losses. By applying shock testing methods it is possible to determine the type of packaging that is required to protect the goods being transported.

In this way, you can avoid over-packaging (an excessive packaging that incurs unnecessary costs) and under-packaging (which does not protect the load against shocks and other unforeseen circumstances during shipping and handling).  

  • Complying with regulations. The most important transportation industry standards contain and propose the use of tests that guarantee the safety of loads against impacts. They include shock testing methods:

– ASTM D4169-16: Standard practices for performance testing of shipping containers and systems

– Vertical drop test, outlined in procedure ASTM D7386-16 Standard practice for performance testing of packages for single parcel delivery system.

– ISTA 1A, B, C, D, E, G, H; 2A, B, C; 3B, E, H; K; 4 Series; 6-SAMSCLUB; 6-AMAZON.COM procedures

– EN 15552:2008 Packaging: Complete, filled transport packages and unit loads. Performance testing schedules for common distribution chains.

  • Improves customer satisfaction. Your goal should be for a product to be delivered on time and in good conditions, both to avoid losses and to gain the loyalty of your customers.

To accomplish this, it is essential for the hazards that goods are subject to when entering the transportation environment (such as mechanical shock) to fail to cause damage. 


What shock testing methods are there?


Shock testing methods are procedures aimed at quantifying and preventing damages caused by shocks of any kind during shipping and handling of the goods. 

There are two main types of mechanical shock tests: 

  • Horizontal impact test. It consists of accelerating the load and letting it impact a surface, simulating the acceleration motions and horizontal shocks that may take place during transportation. This test can prevent horizontal and incline impacts. 
  • The drop test. In this case, the goods are dropped from a certain height and the protective capabilities of the package to this contingency are tested.

This is a shock test whose precision can guarantee the safety of the load based on the characteristics of the route that the goods will follow. 

innRecord Shock Recorder is used for this purpose – a device that records the shocks, accelerations and vibrations experienced throughout a specific route, to then apply them during the mechanical shock test.


Mechanical shock test machine

Depending on the real conditions of the transportation and goods storage environment, there are several types of machines that are used to perform the mechanical shock test: 

On one hand, the incline impact tester simulates the horizontal shocks and impacts that affect the stability and safety of the load during the distribution cycle using the force of gravity. 

Safe Load’s impact machinery is available in four models with varying maximum testing loads and impact speeds. 

On the other hand, Safe Load’s mechanical shock test machine also includes a horizontal impact simulation machine. In this case, the purpose is to analyze the threat posed by horizontal impacts that may take place during shipping and handling of the goods. 

This horizontal impact machine by Safe Load is available in two models that use different technologies (a hydraulic actuator or an electric motor) to move loads of different weights at different speeds. 


A Drop Tester is used to prevent problems associated with drops, by simulating the vertical, rotational and edge drops that may take place during the shipping and handling of goods. 

Safe Load has developed two such machines for different weights, which can reach 1200kg. 

Safe Load’s mechanical shock test machines require a simple maintenance and have an intuitive design: even the most demanding and complex tests can be easily performed by any operator by using a touchscreen and a simple program. 

Do you need to perform a mechanical shock test but you don’t know where to begin?

At Safe Load we will advise you and help you guarantee the safety of your goods in order to reduce your costs.

Get in touch with us and we will work together to find the right machine to optimize your packaging.