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1.1 These test methods cover the performance of pallets and related structures, functioning as skids, bases, platforms, and bins in materials handling and shipping. Their use facilitates the protection of both packaged and unpackaged products during storage and transportation. The test methods include measurements of the relative resistance of pallets and related structures to deformations, damages, and structural failures which detrimentally affect the functionality of the unit load.
1.2 These test methods include conditioning requirements, static stiffness and strength tests, and dynamic tests of structural reliability. These test methods are used to evaluate the relative performance of new, used, or reconditioned general and special-purpose pallets fabricated from various materials including solid wood, wood composites, fiberboard, honeycomb, plastics, or metal, or to compare the performance of such pallets and related structures to specified performance criteria. Recommended criteria for all tests specified in this standard are listed in .
1.2.1 These test methods are also used to classify pallets as single- or multiple-use pallets and to determine the safe working loads for pallets under specified load and support conditions.
1.3 Nonmandatory Preliminary TestsBecause each pallet may be used under several different conditions of load and support, pallet-design considerations and safe working-load estimates shall be based on that condition under which the pallet offers least resistance or is most severely stressed.
1.3.1 Preliminary, short-duration static tests up to the ultimate (see , , and ) shall be performed on previously non-tested pallets to determine which load and support conditions influence most severely the pallet load-carrying capacity and safe working loads.
1.3.2 During the development of prototypes leading to designs that will be subject to acceptance testing, as described in , these preliminary tests shall include the free-fall drop tests in accordance with .
1.4 Mandatory Acceptance Tests
1.4.1 General-Purpose PalletsWhen the objective of the test is to determine the safe working load or to classify a general-purpose pallet as a single- or multiple-use pallet, all tests described in these test methods shall be performed in the order specified. The same pallet shall be used for all static and dynamic tests, where feasible.
1.4.2 Special-Purpose PalletsWhen the objective of the test is to determine the safe working load or to classify a special-purpose pallet, as a single- or multiple-use pallet, only those tests representing the intended condition of use shall be performed. Certain special-purpose pallet designs, because of the pallet size, its shape, or the material of fabrication, or combinations thereof, cannot be reliably tested using this methodology. When available, alternative test methods should be used.
1.4.3 Field Testing It is recommended that pallet designs passing these acceptance tests be further subjected to field testing in the distribution environment.
1.5 Simulation of the Distribution EnvironmentThese test methods are not intended to lead to exact simulations of pallet performance in the distribution environment. These test methods are designed to relate to practice with the added provision that they are repeatable, do not depend on exceptional skills, and are safe to conduct without elaborate precautions. The test findings are not expected to lead to unalterable conclusions. Testing in the distribution environment may be necessary to verify the results obtained from laboratory tests.
1.6 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 warnings are given in 184.108.40.206.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
D642 Test Method for Determining Compressive Resistance of Shipping Containers, Components, and Unit Loads
D996 Terminology of Packaging and Distribution Environments
D999 Test Methods for Vibration Testing of Shipping Containers
D1505 Test Method for Density of Plastics by the Density-Gradient Technique
D1761 Test Methods for Mechanical Fasteners in Wood
D2395 Test Methods for Density and Specific Gravity (Relative Density) of Wood and Wood-Based Materials
D4003 Test Methods for Programmable Horizontal Impact Test for Shipping Containers and Systems
D4332 Practice for Conditioning Containers, Packages, or Packaging Components for Testing
D4442 Test Methods for Direct Moisture Content Measurement of Wood and Wood-Based Materials
D4444 Test Method for Laboratory Standardization and Calibration of Hand-Held Moisture Meters
D4728 Test Method for Random Vibration Testing of Shipping Containers
F680 Test Methods for Nails
F1575 Test Method for Determining Bending Yield Moment of Nails
F1667 Specification for Driven Fasteners: Nails, Spikes, and Staples
ASME StandardMH 1 Pallets, Slipsheets, and Other Bases for Unit Loads
ISO StandardISO 445 Pallets for Material Handling Vocabulary
UNSPSC Code 24112700(Pallets)
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ASTM D1185-98a(2003), Standard Test Methods for Pallets and Related Structures Employed in Materials Handling and Shipping, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 1998, www.astm.orgBack to Top