Shock Testing

During manufacturing, shipping, and handling, all packaged-products will experience shocks.

Shock occurs whenever a package is stopped/dropped/moved in such a way that it experiences a sudden change in speed, direction, or velocity – these shocks can cause damage to the packaging, the product, or its more sensitive components, if not protected properly. It is the packagings’ job to prevent these shocks from damaging the product inside.

Shock testing is very important to help in the design of packaging that will absorb these shocks and keep them from affecting the product within; to help design products that can withstand these shocks regardless of packaging; and to determine what materials should be used in the manufacturing of both package and product to minimize any shocks’ effects to the packaged-product.


ASTM D4169
ASTM D5487

ASTM D4169: Standard Practice for Performance Testing of Shipping Containers and Systems

Standard practice for performance testing of shipping containers and systems. This practice provides a uniform basis of evaluating, in a laboratory, the ability of shipping units to withstand the distribution environment. This is accomplished by subjecting them to a test plan consisting of a sequence of anticipated hazard elements encountered in various distribution cycles. This practice is not intended to supplant material specifications or existing preshipment test procedures.

ASTM D5487 – 16: Standard Test Method for Simulated Drop of Loaded Containers by Shock Machines

Test Method for simulated drop of loaded containers by shock machines. This test method covers the general procedures of using shock machines to replicate the effects of vertical drops of loaded shipping containers, cylindrical containers, and bags and sacks.

ISTA Series 1, 2, 3, & 6

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.


Incline Impact Tester

Platform Size: 48” x 48”
Max Drop Height: 80”
Crane Hoist Capacity: 1,000lbs
Maximum Unit Load: 2,500lbs

Shock Tester

Carriage Size: 10″ x 10″
Payload capacity: 30lbs
Carriage fall: 42″
Max. Acceleration: 3,500G
Min. Pulse Duration: 0.3ms
Shock Pulse Capabilities: half sine, sawtooth, square