Packaged products are often stacked on the top of each other during the loading of shipping containers or during storage of palletized unit loads. Therefore, packages must withstand compression forces from the other packages, or entire unit loads, stacked on top of them and must continue to protect the product within.
Compression testing utilizes multiple techniques to discover how much of these forces a package can withstand before failing.
The results of these tests help to design packaging that can withstand more compression forces during shipping and storage, and they allow us to better estimate how much time a manufacturer can allow for shipping before the damages from compression forces will become problematic.
Test method for determining compressive resistance of shipping containers, components, and unit loads. This test method covers compression tests on shipping containers or components, or both. Shipping containers may be tested with or without contents. The procedure may be used for measuring the ability of the container to resist external compressive loads applied to its faces, to diagonally opposite edges, or to corners. This test method covers testing of multiple containers or unit loads, in addition to individual shipping containers, components, materials, or combination thereof. The test method of applying load may be used to compare the characteristics of a given design of container with a standard, or to compare the characteristics of containers differing in construction.
Complete filled transport packaging – Compression and stacking tests using a compression tester. This International Standard specifies a method for testing the resistance to compression of complete, filled transport packages and a method for carrying out a stacking test on complete, filled transport packages using the same apparatus. The test may be used to assess the performance of a package in terms of its strength or the protection it offers to its contents when it is subjected to compressive forces.
ISTA 1 Series: Non-Simulation Integrity Performance Tests. Challenge the strength and robustness of the product and package combination. Not designed to simulate environmental occurrences. Useful as screening tests, particularly when used as a consistent benchmark over time.
ISTA 2 Series: Partial Simulation Performance Tests. Tests with at least one element of a 3 Series type General Simulation performance test, such as atmospheric conditioning or mode-shaped random vibration, in addition to basic elements of a 1 Series type Non-Simulation Integrity test.
ISTA 3 Series: General Simulation Performance Tests. Designed to provide a laboratory simulation of the damage-producing motions, forces, conditions, and sequences of transport environments. Applicable across broad sets of circumstances, such as a variety of vehicle types and routes, or a varying number of handling exposures. Characteristics will include simple shaped random vibration, different drop heights applied to the sample package, and/or atmospheric conditioning such as tropical wet or winter/frozen.
ISTA 6 Series: Member Performance Tests. Test protocols created by ISTA members to meet their particular purposes and applications. The tests may be completely original, or may be modifications or variations of ISTA Procedures or Projects or other published and accepted tests. ISTA reviews and approves these tests, but primary responsibility rests with the originating members.