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ASTM D6055 - Mechanical Handling of Unitized Loads & Shipping Case

ASTM D6055 - Standard Test Methods for Mechanical Handling of Unitized Loads and Large Shipping Cases and Crates: 

ASTM D6055 is a standard that describes test methods for the mechanical handling of unitized loads and large shipping cases and crates. The objective of these test methods is to evaluate the integrity, stability, and performance of shipping units in real-world handling scenarios. The standard aims to improve the design of unit loads and predict potential damage to products or packaging.

The significance of these test methods lies in their practicality. They are designed to be used with actual equipment used in load handling, which makes the results more reliable and relevant. They allow for the evaluation of shipping units regarding their suitability for mechanical handling using standard, user-specified load-handling equipment.

These tests will enable the user to understand the load's integrity and stability, providing insights into potential improvements in the unit load's design if deficiencies are discovered. Any damage to products or packaging observed during testing could correlate with damage observed in actual distribution handling systems.

These methods are suitable for testing unitized loads and large cases and crates. However, they are not applicable to individual drums or palletized drums. They assess the capacity of the contents to endure standard mechanical handling using various equipment such as a forklift, spade lift, and clamp truck.

The standard outlines six test methods:

  • Test Method A (Fork Truck Handling) measures the resistance of the shipping unit to repeated handling by a forklift.
  • Test Method B (Spade Lift Test) evaluates the handling flap of the case or shipping unit's ability to withstand repeated lifting and handling using a spade lift attachment.
  • Test Method C (Clamp Handling Test) checks the shipping unit's ability to withstand squeeze clamp handling, which involves repeated side compression and lifting.
  • Test Method D (Push-Pull Handling Test) assesses the resilience of a unitized load on a slip-sheet to repeated handling.
  • Test Method E (Grabhook Test) measures the shipping unit's ability to withstand the horizontal pressures of grabhooks.
  • Test Method F (Sling Tests) examines the shipping unit's capacity to withstand the compression of slings such as wire rope, cable, or woven fiber slings.

In addition to these, the standard also refers to other test methods that pertain to the mechanical and rough handling tests of unitized loads and large cases and crates. These include incline impact tests (ASTM Test Method D880) and horizontal impact tests (ASTM Test Method D4003).

ASTM D4169 provides a range of options for selecting and conducting performance tests on all types of shipping containers and systems, complementing the methods outlined in ASTM D6055. In essence, these standards offer a comprehensive toolkit for evaluating and improving shipping unit performance.

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