Serious accidents have occurred over the past decade as a result of package failures during high altitude shipments on aircraft. Dangerous goods require sturdier packages since their contents can result in life-threatening incidents if exposed to the environment. High altitude shipments are encountered when trucks travel over mountain passes or when cargo and feeder aircraft transport packages in non-pressurized or partially-pressurized cargo holds. Both types of transport methods result in severe drops in pressure compared to packages transported close to sea level. The testing of packages under these conditions is critical since package integrity must be improved. Current shipping tests performed in test labs do not account for pressure changes and vibration together. This paper proposes a new test method to simulate package conditions in high altitude shipments by subjecting the package to simultaneous vibration and low pressure. It also recommends pictorial markings be used on packages to show whether or not they meet the air and ground shipping requirements.
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