Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 31, 2010 Track Document
ASTM D4003-98(2003)

Standard Test Methods for Programmable Horizontal Impact Test for Shipping Containers and Systems

Standard Test Methods for Programmable Horizontal Impact Test for Shipping Containers and Systems D4003-98R03 ASTM|D4003-98R03|en-US Standard Test Methods for Programmable Horizontal Impact Test for Shipping Containers and Systems Standard new BOS Vol. 15.10 Committee D10
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Significance and Use

These test methods provide a measure of a shipping container’ability to protect a product from failure due to horizontal impacts. These measures are based on controlled levels of shock input and may be used for arriving at the optimum design of a container or system to protect a product against a specified level of shipping environment hazard.

These test methods provide a measure of a packaged product’ability to withstand the various levels of shipping environment hazards. These measures may be used to prescribe a mode of shipping and handling that will not induce damage to the packaged product or to define the required levels of protection that must be provided by its packaging.

Test Method A is intended to simulate the rail car coupling environment. Refer to Methods D 5277 for simulating the standard draft gear portion of that environment.


1.1 These test methods are intended to determine the ability of a package or product to withstand laboratory simulated horizontal impact forces.

1.2 The horizontal impacts used in these test methods are programmed shock inputs that represent the hazards as they occur in the shipping and handling environments. The environmental hazards may include rail switching impacts, pallet marshalling impacts, and so forth. The following test methods apply:

1.2.1 Method A, Rail Car Switching Impact -This test method simulates the types of shock pulses experienced by lading in rail car switching, with the use of a rigid bulkhead on the leading edge of the test carriage, to simulate the end wall of a railcar and shock programming devices to produce representative shock pulses. With the use of backloading, this test method may also be used to simulate compressive forces experienced by lading loads during rail car switching. It is suitable for tests of individual containers or systems as they are shipped in rail cars. It may also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of pallet patterns to determine the effect of interaction between containers during rail switching operation impacts.

1.2.2 Method B, Pallet Marshalling Impact Tests -This test method assess the ability of single containers, systems, and unit load quantities to withstand the forces encountered during pallet marshalling or airplane loading operations.

1.3 The test levels may be varied to represent the mode on shipping and handling used for the item under test.

1.4 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as the standard. The SI units given in parentheses are for information only.

1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety problems, 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 precautionary statements are given in Section 6.

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Book of Standards Volume: 15.10
Developed by Subcommittee: D10.21
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/D4003-98R03
ICS Code: 55.040