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July/August 2011

Nonhazardous Filling Substances

Interested parties are invited to participate in the development of a proposed new ASTM International standard that will, once approved, facilitate consistent test methods and more reproducible results in hazardous materials package testing.

The proposed new standard, WK32937, Guide for Determining Acceptable Nonhazardous Filling Substances for Packagings Subjected to the United Nations Performance Tests, is currently being developed by Subcommittee D10.21 on Shipping Containers and Systems — Application of Performance Test Methods, part of ASTM International Committee D10 on Packaging.

According to Larry Anderson, vice president, operations, Ten-E Packaging Services, and a D10.21 member, the proposed standard is being developed for the purposes of design qualification and periodic testing of UN specification packaging.

“Lab safety requires, and the dangerous goods regulations permit, the substitution of nonhazardous substances for intended hazardous lading in a prescribed manner,” says Anderson, who co-chairs the task group developing WK32937 with Lonnie Jaycox, C.L. Smith Co.. “These prescriptions allow for needed methodological pluralism, but have resulted in variations in practice that affect repeatability of the packaging testing and validation process.”

The proposed standard will provide useful guidelines that will allow consistent methods for using substitute fill materials for packaging testing that are consistent with dangerous good regulations and facilitate reproducible results.

Package testing and engineering personnel with experience and understanding of the effects of filling substances on various packagings and performance tests are encouraged to join in the development of WK32937. Industrial container manufacturers, hazardous materials packaging suppliers and those who can participate in studies that may be required to determine reproducibility are also invited to join in the D10.21 standards development work.


Technical Information: Larry Anderson, Ten-E Packaging Services Inc., Newport, Minn.

Phone: 651-459-0671

Lonnie Jaycox, C.L. Smith Co., St. Louis, Mo.

Phone: 314-771-1202

ASTM Staff: Kevin Shanahan

Phone: 610-832-9737