ASTM D4728 - 06(2012)

    Standard Test Method for Random Vibration Testing of Shipping Containers

    Active Standard ASTM D4728 | Developed by Subcommittee: D10.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.10


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    Significance and Use

    Shipping containers are exposed to complex dynamic stresses in the distribution environment. Approximating the actual damage, or lack of damage, experienced in real life may require subjecting the container and its contents to random vibration tests. In this way, many product and container resonances are simultaneously excited.

    Resonance buildups during random vibration tests are less intense than during sinusoidal resonance dwell or sweep tests. Therefore, unrealistic fatigue damage due to resonance buildup is minimized.

    Random vibration tests should be based on representative field data. When possible, confidence levels may be improved by comparing laboratory test results with actual field shipment effects. Refer to Practice D4169 for recommended random vibration tests. (See Appendix X1 and Appendix X2 for related information.)

    There is no direct equivalence between random vibration tests and sinusoidal vibration tests. Equivalent tests between sine and random, in a general sense, are difficult to establish due to nonlinearities, damping and product response characteristics.

    Vibration exposure affects the shipping container, its interior packing, means of closure, and contents. This test allows analysis of the interaction between these components. Design modification to one or all of these components may be used to achieve optimum performance in the shipping environment.

    Random vibration tests may be simultaneously performed with transient or periodic data to simulate known stresses of this type, that is, rail joints, pot holes, etc.

    Random vibration may be conducted in any axis (vertical or horizontal) or in any package orientation. However, different test levels may be utilized for each axis depending on the field environment that is to be simulated.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the random vibration testing of filled shipping units. Such tests may be used to assess the performance of a container with its interior packing and means of closure in terms of its ruggedness and the protection that it provides the contents when subjected to random vibration inputs.

    1.2 This test method provides guidance in the development and use of vibration data in the testing of shipping containers.

    Note 1—Sources of supplementary information are listed in the Reference section (110).

    1.3 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. Specific safety hazard statements are given in Section 6.


    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

    D4169 Practice for Performance Testing of Shipping Containers and Systems

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

    ISO Standards

    ISO13355 Packaging--Complete, filled transport packages and unit loads--Vertical random vibration test Available from International Organization for Standardization (ISO), 1, ch. de la Voie-Creuse, CP 56, CH-1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland, http://www.iso.org.


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 55.040 (Packaging materials and accessories)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 24110000(Containers and storage)


    DOI: 10.1520/D4728-06R12

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