ASTM D999 is a standard that establishes testing methods for vibration testing of shipping containers. Vibration exposure is a critical aspect of the transportation environment and can affect the shipping container, its inner packaging, closure means, and the contents themselves.
The standard includes four main testing methods:
Method A1 - Repetitive Shock Test (Vertical Motion): This method is suitable for testing individual containers that are transported unrestrained on the bed of a vehicle.
Method A2 - Repetitive Shock Test (Rotational Motion): This method may be appropriate for testing containers that could be subjected to repetitive shocks due to vibration amplification in unit loads or stacks.
Method B - Individual Container Resonance Test: This method tests or determines the ability of an individual container and its inner packaging to protect the contents from transportation vibrations, especially when the container and its contents may exhibit resonant responses.
Method C - Palletized Load, Unit Load, or Vertical Stack Resonance Test: This method covers the determination of the presence and effects of resonance in palletized loads and multiple unit-stacked loads and whether container strength is sufficient to withstand dynamic loads during stacking.
It is important to note that Methods A1 and A2 produce different vibration motions, thus generating different accelerations that can result in different modes and intensities of damage. Additionally, the results from these two methods may not be correlated with each other.
It is recommended to perform vibration tests based on representative field data. Whenever possible, confidence levels can be improved by comparing laboratory test results with actual field shipping data.
These testing methods are not intended to determine product responses to vibrations for product design purposes, nor for testing products in their operational configuration, as other more appropriate procedures are available for these purposes.