ASTM D7887 - 20

    Standard Guide for Selection of Substitute, Non-hazardous, Liquid Filling Substances for Packagings Subjected to the United Nations Performance Tests

    Active Standard ASTM D7887 | Developed by Subcommittee: D10.22

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.10


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Regulations prescribing the test procedures for hazardous materials packaging allow for the substitution of non-hazardous fill materials for packaging performance tests with certain limitations as outlined in 49 CFR 178.602(c). This regulatory guidance has proven to be flexible enough, in common industry practice, to produce variations in the selection of fill materials for package performance tests that may cause inconsistent and non-repeatable test results. This variation has the potential to create significant problems in product liability, packaging selection, and regulatory enforcement in this highly regulated industry. Use of this guide should enhance uniformity in test procedures.

    5.2 Consistent and repeatable test results coupled with clear test fill product descriptions will enhance transportation safety by simplifying packaging selection. This will also increase the general level of confidence that package testing, manufacture and use are being guided by sound, generally accepted engineering principles. It also aids in clarifying expectations between the packaging industry and the regulatory authorities.

    5.3 The guide will be used by packaging manufacturers, and packaging test labs to create packaging test plans that meet customer needs and conform to the HMR under the widest possible situational circumstances. In addition, for the user of a packaging, certain information about the type and physical characteristics of the material used to test the packaging must be available in the test report and/or notification instruction to allow them to evaluate whether a particular packaging was tested with a substitute material appropriate for the hazardous material to be shipped.

    5.4 For more information on the UN certification tests, refer to Guide D4919. For guidance on determining the appropriate fill materials for preparing samples for UN certification testing with solids reference Guide D8135. For conditioning of plastic packaging designs reference Guide D7790.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide is intended to clarify the selection, use, and description criteria of non-hazardous liquid substitutes used to replace liquid hazardous materials on packagings designs being subjected to United Nations (UN) performance-oriented packaging certification as required by United States Department of Transportation Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) and the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN). This includes identification of the physical parameters of substitute non-hazardous liquid test fill materials that may affect packaging performance and test results and should be considered when selecting and describing a test fill material that conforms to the requirements of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR).

    1.2 This guide provides information to assist packaging users, manufacturers, and performance testing service suppliers regarding the types of physical properties that should be considered when selecting substitute liquid filling substances for the testing, certification, and manufacture of packagings under the United Nations packaging protocols as adopted by US DOT in 49 CFR HMR..

    1.3 This guide provides the suggested minimum information concerning the physical characteristics of the filling substances that should be documented in the certification test report and notification to users to allow for test repeatability and analysis. Attention should be paid to the differences in physical characteristics of the substance used in the test compared to the materials transported.

    1.4 This guide does not purport to address regulatory requirements regarding the compatibility of filling substances with transport packagings. Compatibility requirements must be assessed separately, but it should be noted that under certain national and international dangerous goods regulations, the selection of the filling substances for package performance testing may be prescribed with respect to chemical compatibility requirements.

    Note 1: Under the US HMR determination of packaging compatibility with a particular hazardous fill material is “the responsibility of the person offering the hazardous material for transportation” as prescribed in 49 CFR § 173.24(e).

    1.5 The units of measurement are consistent with the HMR.

    1.6 When testing packaging designs intended for hazardous materials (dangerous goods), the user of this guide shall be trained in accordance with 49 CFR §172.700 and other applicable hazardous materials regulations such as the ICAO Technical Instructions, IMDG Code, other applicable national or international dangerous goods regulations that govern the testing, manufacture and use of packagings authorized for the transportation of Dangerous Goods, and carrier rules such as the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.

    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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations 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.

    ASTM Standards

    D445 Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (and Calculation of Dynamic Viscosity)

    D891 Test Methods for Specific Gravity, Apparent, of Liquid Industrial Chemicals

    D1200 Test Method for Viscosity by Ford Viscosity Cup

    D4359 Test Method for Determining Whether a Material Is a Liquid or a Solid

    D4919 Guide for Testing of Hazardous Materials (Dangerous Goods) Packagings

    D7790 Guide for Preparation of Plastic Packagings Containing Liquids for United Nations (UN) Drop Testing

    D8135 Guide for Selection of Substitute, Non-hazardous, Particulate Solid Filling Substances for Packagings Subjected to the United Nations Performance Tests


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.020.60 (Product life-cycles); 13.300 (Protection against dangerous goods); 55.040 (Packaging materials and accessories)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
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    DOI: 10.1520/D7887-20

    Citation Format

    ASTM D7887-20, Standard Guide for Selection of Substitute, Non-hazardous, Liquid Filling Substances for Packagings Subjected to the United Nations Performance Tests, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2020, www.astm.org

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