ASTM D4003 - 98(2009)

    Standard Test Methods for Programmable Horizontal Impact Test for Shipping Containers and Systems

    Active Standard ASTM D4003 | Developed by Subcommittee: D10.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.10


      Format Pages Price  
    PDF 5 $43.00   ADD TO CART
    Hardcopy (shipping and handling) 5 $43.00   ADD TO CART


    Significance and Use

    These test methods provide a measure of a shipping container's ability to protect a product from failure due to horizontal impacts. These measures are based on controlled levels of shock input and may be used for arriving at the optimum design of a container or system to protect a product against a specified level of shipping environment hazard.

    These test methods provide a measure of a packaged product's ability to withstand the various levels of shipping environment hazards. These measures may be used to prescribe a mode of shipping and handling that will not induce damage to the packaged product or to define the required levels of protection that must be provided by its packaging.

    Test Method A is intended to simulate the rail car coupling environment. Refer to Methods D 5277 for simulating the standard draft gear portion of that environment.

    1. Scope

    1.1 These test methods are intended to determine the ability of a package or product to withstand laboratory simulated horizontal impact forces.

    1.2 The horizontal impacts used in these test methods are programmed shock inputs that represent the hazards as they occur in the shipping and handling environments. The environmental hazards may include rail switching impacts, lift truck marshalling impacts, and so forth. The following test methods apply:

    1.2.1 Method A, Rail Car Switching ImpactThis test method simulates the types of shock pulses experienced by lading in rail car switching, with the use of a rigid bulkhead on the leading edge of the test carriage, to simulate the end wall of a railcar and shock programming devices to produce representative shock pulses. With the use of backloading, this test method may also be used to simulate compressive forces experienced by lading loads during rail car switching. It is suitable for tests of individual containers or systems as they are shipped in rail cars. It may also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of pallet patterns to determine the effect of interaction between containers during rail switching operation impacts.

    1.2.2 Method B, Marshalling Impact Tests of Unit LoadsThis test method assesses the ability of unit loads to withstand the forces encountered during marshalling or loading operations.

    1.3 The test levels may be varied to represent the mode on shipping and handling used for the item under test.

    1.4 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D996 Terminology of Packaging and Distribution Environments

    D4332 Practice for Conditioning Containers, Packages, or Packaging Components for Testing

    D5277 Test Method for Performing Programmed Horizontal Impacts Using an Inclined Impact Tester

    E122 Practice for Calculating Sample Size to Estimate, With Specified Precision, the Average for a Characteristic of a Lot or Process


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 55.040 (Packaging materials and accessories)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D4003-98R09

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    ASTM D4003

    Citing ASTM Standards
    Back to Top