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This guide identifies the key information required to ensure that selected packaging will pass the United Nations (UN) packaging certification at the level that is appropriate for its intended use. This guide covers test procedures for transportation of hazardous material packagings for net masses except those used for infectious substances, radioactive materials, cylinders, and other receptacles for gases and does not replace domestic or international requlatory requirements for hazardous material packagings. The UN performance tests are based on the degree of hazard posed by the proposed materials to be packaged which are also assigned to a specific packing group. Only packaging designs that meet the UN performance standards are to be marked with a UN mark. Tests include drop test, leakproofness test, stack test, vibration test, pressure differential test, hydrostatic pressure test, and cobb water absorption test.
This abstract is a brief summary of the referenced standard. It is informational only and not an official part of the standard; the full text of the standard itself must be referred to for its use and application. ASTM does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents of this abstract are accurate, complete or up to date.
Significance and Use
4.1 The UN performance tests are based on the degree of hazard presented by the proposed hazardous material(s) to be packaged.
4.2 Substances and articles which are hazardous are assigned to a specific packing group as defined in and may be determined by referencing 49 CFR 172.101 hazardous materials table.
4.3 Only packaging designs that have been successfully tested to the UN performance standards as defined in may be marked with a UN mark. Hazardous Materials may not be transported in a packaging that does not bear the appropriate UN markings unless otherwise authorized by the applicable competent authority.
4.4 Packages successfully tested to the UN performance standards may or may not withstand the North American distribution environment. To further evaluate the suitability of the package it is strongly recommended that additional tests as detailed in Practice or other carrier specified test requirements be conducted.
1.1 The main focus of this guide is to identify the key information required for United Nations (UN) packaging certification to ensure the selected packaging will be certified to the appropriate level for its intended use. This document also provides guidance for locating relevant sections of the United States Department of Transportation Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Consult with a regulatory specialist whenever needed.
1.2 This guide is intended to assist in determining the appropriate performance tests required to certify packaging designs to the United States Department of Transportation Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations performance oriented packaging standards based on the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods..
1.3 This guide covers the testing for transportation of hazardous materials packagings for net masses not exceeding 400 kg (880 lb) or capacities not exceeding 450 L (119 gal), excepting packagings for infectious substances, radioactive materials, cylinders and other receptacles for gases.
1.4 This guide does not replace domestic or international regulatory requirements for hazardous materials packaging but is strongly recommended to be used in conjunction with those regulations.
1.5 The user of this guide must be trained in accordance with the United States Department of Transportation Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) as required by 172.700 and should be familiar with other applicable hazardous materials regulations such as: International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) and carrier rules such as International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations.
1.6 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.
1.7 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 requirements prior to use.
1.8 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
Regulatory DocumentsInternational Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations Available from International Air Transport Association (IATA), 800 Place Victoria, P.O. Box 113, Montreal, Quebec H4Z 1M1, Canada, http://www.iata.org.
D323 Test Method for Vapor Pressure of Petroleum Products (Reid Method)
D642 Test Method for Determining Compressive Resistance of Shipping Containers, Components, and Unit Loads
D685 Practice for Conditioning Paper and Paper Products for Testing
D996 Terminology of Packaging and Distribution Environments
D999 Test Methods for Vibration Testing of Shipping Containers
D4169 Practice for Performance Testing of Shipping Containers and Systems
D4332 Practice for Conditioning Containers, Packages, or Packaging Components for Testing
D4359 Test Method for Determining Whether a Material Is a Liquid or a Solid
D4577 Test Method for Compression Resistance of a Container Under Constant Load
D4991 Test Method for Leakage Testing of Empty Rigid Containers by Vacuum Method
D5276 Test Method for Drop Test of Loaded Containers by Free Fall
D5570 Test Method for Water Resistance of Tape and Adhesives Used as Box Closure
D7660 Guide for Conducting Internal Pressure Tests on United Nations (UN) Packagings
D7790 Guide for Preparation of Plastic Packagings Containing Liquids for United Nations (UN) Drop Testing
D7887 Guide for Selection of Substitute, Non-hazardous, Liquid Filling Substances for Packagings Subjected to the United Nations Performance Tests
Industry DocumentIndustrial Steel Drum Institute (ISDI) and Reusabl Hazardous Materials Packaging Testing Procedures for Steel Drums Available from the Industrial Steel Drum Institute (ISDI), P.O. Box 790, Severna Park, MN 21146-0790. www.whysteeldrums.org; and Reusable Industrial Packaging Association (RIPA), 51 Monroe Street Suite 812, Rockville, MD 20850, Tel. 301.577.3786, www.reusablepackaging.org
United Nations DocumentUnited Nations Recommendations on the Transport of
ISO StandardISO 535 Determination of Water Absorption of Paper and Board (Cobb Method) Available from American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 25 W. 43rd St., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036, http://www.ansi.org.
UNSPSC Code 24120000(Packaging materials)
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ASTM D4919-17, Standard Guide for Testing of Hazardous Materials (Dangerous Goods) Packagings, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017, www.astm.orgBack to Top