New for 2022

To all new and existing customers please DOWNLOAD THE NEW 2022 TERMS OF SERVICE for doing business with Pro-Pack Testing Laboratory, Inc.

This document contains some significant changes to the way we are doing business from this point forward and also contains valuable information on how to most efficiently utilize our testing services. There are some significant changes and we have tried to make things easier from this point going forward. If after reading this document, any questions can be directed to our Project Coordinator Noah Harper n.harper@propacktestlab.com or contact us at support@propacktestlab.com

ISTA Series 3 Test Information

Additional Information can be found on the ISTA website.
Advanced Tests
Links to tests: ISTA 3A, ISTA 3B, ISTA 3E, ISTA 3F,
 
ISTA 3-Series  tests are advanced tests designed to test the capabilities of the package and product to withstand hazards of transport using general simulation of actual hazards of transport and not necessarily complying with carrier packaging regulations.
 
These ISTA procedures and tests provide the benefits of shortening package development time, adding confidence to meet product launch deadlines. They also ensure protection of products suggesting an increase in profits due to reduced shipping damage and loss of product. They may also lead to more balanced distribution costs and increased customer satisfaction.
 
There are three sections to the ISTA Series 3 test protocols: Overview, Testing and Reporting.
ISTA Series 3 Overview provides general information required before testing in the laboratory.
ISTA Series 3 Testing presents the instructions required for laboratory testing.
ISTA Series 3 Reporting indicates the data that shall be reported to ISTA.
 
Two systems of weights and measures are always used in ISTA testing. The English system uses inches and pounds and the international system SI is metric. Inch/Pound units are shown first with Metric units in brackets. Tables will show the two systems separately.
 
Key to Metric and English units and symbols:
  • For measuring weight, metric units include kilograms (kg) or grams (gm). For measuring weight, English units include pounds (lb).
  • For measuring distance, metric units include meters (m) or millimeters (mm). For measuring distance, English units include feet (ft) or inches (in).
  • For measuring volume, metric units include cubic centimeters (cm3). For measuring volume, English units include cubic inches (in3).
  • For measuring density, metric units include kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m3). For measuring density, English units include pounds per cubic inch (lb/in3).
  • For measuring temperature, metric units include centigrade (C). For measuring temperature, English units include Fahrenheit (F).
  • For measuring absolute pressure, metric units include kilopascal (kPa). For measuring volume, English units include pounds per square inch (psi).

Either system may be used as the standard unit of measure; however, the standard unit should remain consistent throughout testing and reporting. Units are converted to significant figures, not exact equivalents.

In other ISTA Test Procedures 68 kilograms is used as a conversion from 150 pounds. In 3A, 70 kilograms and 150 pounds are used because it is a common dividing point used by parcel delivery systems from countries that use either metric or English units.

 
 

Overview of ISTA Series Test Procedure 3B

The ISTA Series 3B test procedure is a general simulation test for individual packaged products shipped through a motor carrier (truck) delivery system, where different types of packaged products, often from different shippers and intended for different ultimate destinations, are mixed in the same load. This type of shipment is called LTL or “less than truckload.” ISTA Series Test 3B is for four different types of packages commonly distributed in LTL shipments as described below.

Package Types:

Standard 200 lb (91 kg) or less including elongated and flat packages.

Standard over 200 lb (91 kg) including elongated and flat packages.

Cylindrical including elongated cylinders.

Palletized or Skidded – individual container, bulk container or unitized load on or incorporating a base or platform which allows the entry of lift truck forks.

Definitions:

Elongated Package or Cylinder

  • A standard or cylindrical package is where the longest dimension is 36 inches (910 mm) or larger and
  • Both of the package’s other dimensions are each 20% or less of the longest dimension

Flat Package

  • A standard package where the shortest dimension is 8 inches (200 mm) or less and
  • The next longest dimension is four or more times larger than the shortest dimension, and
  • the volume is 800 cubic inches (13,000 cubic cm) or greater

Non-Rigid Container

  • Any standard (regardless of weight) or palletized or skidded container where the outer package may offer insufficient protection from concentrated low-level impacts or
  • The design has large unsupported spans of outer packaging material, or
  • the outer package utilizes a stretch or shrink wrapped design, uses a thin flute or light corrugated board, a paper wrap or some similar light weight material only, or
  • the outer package wall is in contact with the product

Note: if a packaged product is both flat and elongated, the package should be tested as “Elongated.”

 ISTA 3B testing can evaluate the protective performance of a packaged product related to vibration, shock and stresses encountered during handling and transportation in a parcel delivery system. These test levels are based on general data and do not represent any specific distribution system. The package and product are considered together and not separately. Some conditions of transit such as moisture, pressure or unusual handling might not be covered.

Note: Hazardous material packaging that passes this test may not meet international, national or other regulatory requirements for hazardous material transport. This test is not a substitute for UN and any other required test standards for hazardous materials. It should be used in conjunction with such tests.

ISTA Test 3B covers testing of individual packaged products prepared for shipping via a “Less than Truckload” (LTL) delivery carrier. LTL is a motor carrier or truck shipment, where different types of packaged products possibly from different shippers and intended for different final destinations are mixed in a common load.

The shipper shall determine prior to testing: what will be considered damage to the product and what damage level is allowable. The shipper shall also determine the correct methodology to determine product condition at the test’s conclusion and the acceptable package condition at the test conclusion.

Samples for ISTA Series Test Procedure 3B

Samples for Test Procedure 3B should be untested actual packages and actual products. If one or both are not available, be sure that the substitute product and packaging are as close as possible to the actual items.

One sample is required for tests in the ISTA Series Test 3B Procedure.

ISTA suggests performing the testing procedure five or more times using new samples with each test to improve statistical significance for all package tests.

Note: In order to ensure perfect condition testing, products and packages should be shipped to an ISTA Certified Laboratory adequately over-packaged or repackaged in new packaging at the lab.

Note: Any pallet or skid used in this test should be typical of what is in actual use in the field for the packaged product tested.

Note: It is important to thoroughly document the configuration, construction and materials of the test product and package. Variations in performance can often be cause by what seem to be insignificant differences. Photo documentation is recommended to accompany detailed written descriptions.

Test Sequence for ISTA Series Test Procedure 3B

Basis Weights of Corrugated Board

When the outer package is a corrugated box it is recommended that the basis weights of the papers/paperboards used in making the box be determined and documented. If these weights change a retest is considered appropriate.

Standard, 200 lb (91 kg) or less

Sequence 1: Atmospheric Preconditioning TEST BLOCK 1 using temperature and humidity at an ambient level. This sequence is required.

Sequence 2: Atmospheric Conditioning TEST BLOCK 1using controlled temperature and humidity with temperature and humidity chosen from a chart. This sequence is optional.

Sequence 3: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 2 using tip or tip over testing using a 22 degree tip angle. This sequence is required equal to or greater than 48 inches (1.2 m) tall and greater than or equal to 100 lb (45 kg) and any one base dimension less than 1/2 the height or for packages greater than or equal to 30 inches (760 mm) tall and with a center of gravity vertical location greater than half the package height.

Sequence 4: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 3 Free-Fall Drop with 6 drops from varying height dependent upon product weight. This is required.

Sequence 5: Vertical Vibration Testing TEST BLOCK 7: Using random vibration with top load. The test level Overall Grms level of .54. This is required.

Sequence 6: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 10 using concentrated impact. Test level is impact mass free-fall drop guided drop or pendulum, 15 inches (380 mm). This sequence is required.

Sequence 7: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 11 using free-fall drop. 6 drops with height varying with packaged product weight. This sequence is required.

Sequence 8: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 16 using full rotational drop. 1 drop This sequence is required for elongated packages.

Sequence 9: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 17 using bridged impact. Hazard box dropped from 16 inches (410mm) This sequence is required for elongated packages.

Sequence 10: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 16 using full rotational drop. 2 drops This sequence is required for flat packages only.

Sequence 11: Integrity Testing TEST BLOCK 18 using concentrated edge impact. Hazard box dropped 16 in (410 mm).This sequence is required for flat packages.

Standard, over 200 lb (91 kg)

Sequence 1: Atmospheric Preconditioning TEST BLOCK 1 using temperature and humidity at an ambient level. This sequence is required.

Sequence 2: Atmospheric Conditioning TEST BLOCK 1using controlled temperature and humidity with temperature and humidity chosen from a chart. This sequence is optional.

Sequence 3: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 2 using tip or tip over testing using a 22 degree tip angle. This sequence is required equal to or greater than 48 inches (1.2 m) tall and greater than or equal to 100 lb (45 kg) and any one base dimension less than 1/2 the height or for packages greater than or equal to 30 inches (760 mm) tall and with a center of gravity vertical location greater than half the package height.

Sequence 4: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 5 Rotational Drop from 9 in (230 mm) Rotational edge and corner drops.. This is required.

Sequence 5: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 6: Incline or Horizontal impact, optional free-fall drop. 48 inches/second (4ft/sec)(1.2m/sec) impacts or 3 in (76 mm) drops. This is required.

Sequence 6: Vertical Vibration TEST BLOCK 7 using random with top load. Overall Grms level of .54. This sequence is required.

Sequence 7: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 10 using concentrated impact. Impact mass free-fall drop, guided drop or pendulum 15 in (380 mm). This sequence is required.

Sequence 8: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 13 using rotational drop. 9 inches (230 mm) Rotational edge and corner drops. This is required.

Sequence 9: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 14 using rotational drop. 48 inches/second (4ft/sec)(1.2m/sec) impacts or 3 in (76 mm) drops. This is required.

Sequence 10: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 16 using full rotational drop. 1 drop This sequence is required for elongated packages only.

Sequence 11: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 17 using bridged impact. Hazard box dropped 16 in (410 mm).This sequence is required for flat packages.

Sequence 12: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 16 using full rotational drop. 2 drops This sequence is required for flat packages only.

Sequence 13: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 18 using concentrated edge impact. Hazard box dropped 16 inches (410 mm) This sequence is required for flat packages only.

Cylindrical

Sequence 1: Atmospheric Preconditioning TEST BLOCK 1 using temperature and humidity at an ambient level. This sequence is required.

Sequence 2: Atmospheric Conditioning TEST BLOCK 1 using controlled temperature and humidity with temperature and humidity chosen from chart. This sequence is optional.

Sequence 3: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 4 using Free Fall Drop. 6 drops with varying height determined by packaged product weight. Required.

Sequence 4: Vertical Vibration Testing TEST BLOCK 8 Random with and without top load. Overall Grms level of .54. This is required.

Sequence 5: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 12: Free-fall drop. 5 drops with height varying with packaged product weight. This is required.

Sequence 6: Shock TEST BLOCK 12 Drop on Hazard. 1 drop with height varying with packaged product weight.

Sequence 7: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 16 using full rotational drop. 1 drop. This sequence is required for elongated cylinders.

Sequence 8: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 17 using bridged impact. Hazard box dropped from 16 inches (410 mm). This is required for elongated cylinders.

Palletized or Skidded

Sequence 1: Atmospheric Preconditioning TEST BLOCK 1 using temperature and humidity at an ambient level. This sequence is required.

Sequence 2: Atmospheric Conditioning TEST BLOCK 1using controlled temperature and humidity with temperature and humidity chosen from a chart. This sequence is optional.

Sequence 3: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 2 using tip or tip over testing using a 22 degree tip angle. This sequence is required for palletized or skidded loads greater than or equal to 30 inches (760 mm) tall and center of gravity vertical height greater than the smallest base dimension.

Sequence 4: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 5 Rotational Drop Rotational edge and corner drops with height varying with packaged product weight. This is required.

Sequence 5: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 6: Incline or Horizontal impact, optional free-fall drop. 48 inches/second (4ft/sec)(1.2m/sec) impacts or 3 in (76 mm) drops. This is required.

Sequence 6: Vertical Vibration TEST BLOCK 9 using random with top load. Overall Grms level of .54. This sequence is required.

Sequence 7: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 10 using concentrated impact. Impact mass free-fall drop, guided drop or pendulum 15 in (380 mm). This sequence is required for non-rigid containers.

Sequence 8: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 15 using fork lift handling. Flat push and rotate tests. This is required.

Sequence 9: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 15 using fork lift handling. Elevated push and pull tests. This is required.

Sequence 10: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 15 using fork lift handling. Elevated rotate tests. This is required.

Sequence 11: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 15 using fork lift handling. Load stability test over a handling course. This is required.

Sequence 12: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 13 using rotational drop. Rotational edge and corner drops with height varying with packaged product weight. This sequence is required.

Sequence 13: Shock Testing TEST BLOCK 14 using incline or horizontal impact, optional free fall drop. 48 inches / second (4 ft/sec)(1.2 m/sec) impacts or 3 inch (76 mm) drops. This sequence is required.

Required Equipment for ISTA Series Test Procedure 3B

Atmospheric Conditioning: A Humidity recording apparatus complying with the apparatus section of ISO 2233 or ASTM D 4332, and a Temperature recording apparatus complying with the apparatus section of ISO 2233 or ASTM D 4332.

Optional Atmospheric Conditioning: A chamber and control apparatus complying with the apparatus section of ISO2233 or ASTM D 4332.

The following choices are required for the Shock Test:

For the Shock tests:

  • For Free Fall drop tests using a free-fall drop tester, in compliance with the apparatus section of ISO 2248 or ASTM D 5276.
  • For Free Fall drop tests (Alternate) using slings and quick release mechanism, ISO 2248 or ASTM D 5276.
  • For Tip/Tip over tests, ASTM D 6179 or ISO 2876
  • For Rotational Edge and Corner Drop Tests, 1 Support Block ASTM D 6179 or ISO 2876
  • For Full Rotational Drops, ASTM D 6179 or ISO 2876, Support block: 3.5 to 4.0 inches (90 to 100 mm) in height and width and at least 8 inches (200 mm) longer than the longest package dimension to be supported.
  • For Full rotational Drops ASTM D 6179 or ISO 2876
  • For Impact Tests (Alternates), Incline and Horizontal ASTM D880 or ASTM D 4003 or ISO 2244
  • For Concentrated impact tests, free fall or guided free fall of impacting mass. In compliance with ASTM D 6344, except the impacting mass must be approximately 8.875 inches (225 mm) long, with a diameter of 1.25 inches (32 mm) and weigh a total of 3 lb (1.4 kg). Impacting mass details: Total weight 3 lb (1.4 kg). See ASTM D 6344 for other information.
  • For Concentrated impact tests (Alternate), pendulum with impacting mass. In compliance with ASTM D 6344, except the impacting mass must be approximately 8.875 inches (225 mm) long, with a diameter of 1.25 inches (32 mm) and weigh a total of 3 lb (1.4 kg). Impacting mass details: Total weight 3 lb (1.4 kg). See ASTM D 6344 for other information.
  • Concentrated edge impact tests. Free fall drop tester with edge hazard box. Concentrated Edge Hazard Box: 12 x 12 x 12 inches (305 x305 x 305 mm) wood box with a total weight of 9 lb (4.1 kg). Any required ballast weight should be dense flowable material in a bag or bags, held in place with suitable void fill. The impact edge of the box shall be covered with angle iron.
  • Bridged impact tests. Free fall drop tester with edge hazard box. ASTM D 5265 with the exception of the Hazard Box Impactor. Concentrated Edge Hazard Box: 12 x 12 x 12 inches (305 x305 x 305 mm) wood box with a total weight of 9 lb (4.1 kg). Any required ballast weight should be dense flowable material in a bag or bags, held in place with suitable void fill. The impact edge of the box shall be covered with angle iron.
  • Drop Onto Hazard. Free fall drop tester Hazard block: The hazard block shall be made of hardwood or metal. The height shall be .75 to 1 inch (20 to 25mm) and the width shall be 6 inches (150 mm). The length shall be at least 8 inches (200 mm) longer than the longest package dimension which will impact. The long top edges of the block shall be rounded to a radius equal to the height of the block.
  • Vertical Random Vibration Test System complying with the apparatus section of ASTM D 4728 or ISO 13355.
  • Top Load apparatus:
  • A sturdy fiberboard box or similar container with a height of 9 inches (230 mm), and with a minimum of .75 inches (20 mm) thick plywood load spreader covering the entire bottom surface
  • Some means of adding additional weight as required so that the top load is distributed evenly over the entire inside face area of the top load apparatus
  • Adequate void fill to securely hod the weight in place to prevent it from moving or bouncing within the top load apparatus.
  • Bottom face dimensions at least 2 inches (50 mm) larger than the top face dimensions of the test items for a maximum of 3 inches (76 mm) over hang on each side.
  • The top load apparatus must be divided into 2 separate equal portions if one of the top face dimensions of the test item exceeds 18 inches (460 mm).
  • Means must be provided to maintain proper alignment of the top load apparatus on the test item (column stack fixtures, stretch wrap around the test specimen and the top load apparatus, etc.) without restricting the vertical motion of the top load apparatus and the test specimen.
  • Means must be provided to prevent the test item from moving off the vibration system’s platform without restricting the vertical motion of the test item.
  • A fork lift truck of sufficient capacity to handle the test specimens and complying with the requirements below.
  • A fork lift handling course as shown on this form.

About Us

Pro-Pack is one of the premier package testing laboratories in North America. With more than 30 years of experience, we are trusted for high standards, accuracy and our commitment to excellence. Pro-Pack is owned and managed by a team of people who are dedicated to the profession and the firm.

Contact Info

2385 Amann Drive
Belleville, Illinois 62220
Phone: 618-277-1160
Fax: 618-277-1163

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