ASTM Standards for Shipping Container Testing
In continuous motion to their destinations, shipping containers are subject to a series of forces, including shock, vibration, and pressure. Recognizing these forces and adequately preparing the containers for their influence is key to assuring that shipped goods arrive in their original condition.
Several ASTM standards deal with testing containers against their expected forces. For example, ASTM D4169 specifies performance testing of shipping containers, providing a uniform basis of evaluating the ability of shipping units to withstand their distribution environment. In addition, ASTM D5276 details a standard drop test of loaded containers, which is used to evaluate shock.
About ASTM D4728-17(2022)
ASTM D4728-17(2022) is focused on vibration stresses, and it covers random vibration testing of filled shipping units. These tests are intended to approximate the actual damage, or lack thereof, experienced in real life, as these containers undergo complex dynamic stresses during transport. Because of this, the random vibration tests should be based on representative field data, and actual observed field shipment effects may prove useful for comparison.
The ASTM D4728-17(2022) document details the apparatus, safety precautions, test specimens, calibration, conditioning, procedure, and report for carrying out the random vibration tests.
Changes to ASTM D4728-17
ASTM D4728 was last revised in 2017, and this standard went through several changes of note. Changes to ASTM D4728-17 include added references and definitions and a complete revamping of Appendix X1 (References for PSD Test Profiles), and Appendix X2 (Sample PSD Vibration Data). PSD stands for power spectral density, an expression of random vibration in terms of mean-square acceleration per unit of frequency.
ASTM D4728-17 was reaffirmed in 2022, so its information remains current.
ASTM D4728-17(2022): Standard Test Method for Random Vibration Testing of Shipping Containers is available on the ANSI Webstore.