In the packaging sector there is a significant number of regulations; we have already analyzed some of them, such as the ISTA standards and the ASTM standards, in previous articles. Which is why in this article we want to discuss another set of standards – the TAPPI standards.


What is TAPPI and what are its main standards?

TAPPI stands for Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry, a nonprofit organization led by volunteers from various fields, such as engineers, scientists, scholars and suppliers related to the paper sector. TAPPI works toward the creation of worldwide standards for the paper industry, but also encompasses other fields such as packaging, adhesives and coatings, among others.

Specifically, TAPPI was born in the year 1915, when thirty companies of the paper sector joined forces to create a new area within the American Paper & Pulp Association (APPA). The main purpose of this organization is to compile and publish information related to the manufacture of paper, as well as to create a forum where information can be published and ideas shared with other stakeholders in the sector.

Nowadays, TAPPI has become a true benchmark in the paper industry and thousands of international companies comply with its standards. The standards created by TAPPI members ensure that the products comply with the industry’s best practices, and their goal is not only to maximize the products’ performance, but also to provide new ideas and operational methods to improve production.

TAPPI has two main standards related to the packaging industry:

  • TAPPI T804 Compression test of fiberboard shipping containers: this method is used to measure the ability of corrugated or solid fiberboard shipping containers to withstand external compression forces.
  • TAPPI T402 Standard conditioning and testing atmospheres for paper, board, pulp handsheets, and related products: this practice defines the standard atmospheres for the preconditioning, conditioning and normal testing of paper, cardboard and fiberboard products, as well as the containers manufactured out of them. It also specifies the procedures used for the handling of those materials so that they can reach a balance with the corresponding atmosphere.

“The standards created by TAPPI members ensure that the products comply with the industry’s best practices”

What is TAPPI and what are its main standards

Advantages of TAPPI standards

Each standard has its own particularities and benefits. For the TAPPI standards, these are its main advantages:

  • Developed by the members of TAPPI themselves: all of this organization’s standards are developed by its own members, which include anything from researchers to industry professionals.
  • Voting and decision-making process: all standards are subjected to a voting process and peer review, which guarantees results of the highest quality.
  • Available online 24/7: thanks to its online licensing system, TAPPI standards can be accessed at any time.
  • ANSI Certification: TAPPI standards’ ANSI certification means that they are considered to be nationwide United States standards.

The standards developed by TAPPI imply a significant contribution to world standards involving paper. However, they are also targeted at other industries, such as packaging, bioenergy, engineering, nanotechnology, etc.

“The standards developed by TAPPI imply a significant contribution to world standards involving paper”

TAPPI T804: all you need to know

As already mentioned, one of the most widespread TAPPI standards – especially in the packaging industry – is T804. This is a method that is used to measure the ability of corrugated or solid fiberboard freight containers to withstand external compression forces. This means that a compression test is required in order to comply with the TAPPI T804 standard.

This method may be applied in one of many ways: for quality tests, it is generally preferable to perform the testing with an empty container, while testing can be done with a full container when performing a compression resistance test that involves the internal packaging.

On the other hand, if the overall performance of the entire packaging is to be tested, the test can be performed using a container that is loaded with all of its contents and internal packaging. The container can be placed in the machine to test the compression resistance in a direction that is significant in relation to the use of the container, including up-down, front to back, or side to side.

Safe Load’s compression machine accommodates the TAPPI T804 standard, which means it can be used to test the compression resistance of the package, and its resistance to the creep test. This machine can also perform compression tests on shipping containers, pallets and cargo units, as per the international ASTM and ISTA standards.

If you are in need of a machine that helps you tailor your loads to the TAPPI T804 standard, our compression machine is just what you need. Get in touch with us and find out more about it.

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