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ASTM D6537: Determining package performance through shock tests

The ASTM D6537 standard represents a standard method for conducting instrumented shock tests on packaging to determine their performance. The purpose of this practice is to provide a procedure that allows the user to collect data on the packaging performance when a packaged product is subjected to shock. It is a crucial testing process to measure and evaluate the performance of a packaging system when the packaged product is exposed to shock, as may occur during transportation or handling. These measurements can be used to quantify or qualify a packaging system, providing manufacturers and shippers with a clear understanding of how their packaging can protect the product inside.

Why use it?

  • Measurement of Transport Shock Resistance: Data obtained from this practice can provide a measure of the capacity of packaging to mitigate different levels of transport shocks or impact risks. These measurements can be used to determine a mode of transport and handling that will not cause damage to the packaged product or to define the necessary levels of protection that the packaging must provide.
  • Optimization of Cushion Design: This standard could potentially be used in conjunction with data obtained from Test Method D3332 (Method B) to optimize cushion design. This refers to the design of cushioning inside the packaging that serves to protect the product from shocks and impacts.
  • Data Collection: This standard allows for the collection of data at the interface between the product and packaging (coupled) or in response to an element, depending on the user's objective.


  • Methods for Obtaining Shock Responses: This standard covers methods for obtaining measured shock responses using instruments for an actual or simulated packaged product system when subjected to defined shocks. This measurement helps evaluate the packaging performance under these conditions.
  • Obtaining Measured Shock Data: The practice establishes methods for obtaining measured shock data to be used with shock and impact testing methods. However, it is important to note that it is not intended to replace performance testing of containers and shipping systems, such as Practice D4169.
  • Acceleration Measurement Techniques: This practice primarily focuses on acceleration measurement techniques, which are commonly used in shock and impact testing. Other methods of measuring shock impacts, such as high-speed video, are not covered by this practice.

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