The objective of laboratory performance testing is to simulate the packaged product distribution environment, reproducing the hazards and associated damage potential that packaged products will encounter. Simulating the dynamic compressive forces that occur between unit loads or stacked packaged products while undergoing vehicle transport can be time consuming and expensive. In some cases, the number of test specimens required to complete a full unit load or stack of packaged products are not available for testing. For this reason, industry-accepted test standards allow for the use of a single box and an equivalent dead load in place of a full stack of packaged products for vibration testing. In this study, a device is designed and validated to record the dynamic compressive forces created by a stack of corrugated boxes. Various experiments are conducted, recording the dynamic compressive forces that occur from stacks of packages for comparison to a single package with a dead load. The dynamic compression response is used to drive a vibration table with the force-measuring device serving as the control feedback sensor. It is concluded that the use of a dead load does not reproduce the same damage potential as a stack of packages when acceleration is used to drive and control a vibration table. However, the use of a dead load is an efficient and economical way to test dynamic compression of corrugated fiberboard packages if force, rather than acceleration, is used to drive the vibration table.
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