The ISTA 1C test procedure is an integrity test designed for individual packaged products. This procedure allows for the evaluation of a packaged product's performance and can be used to compare the relative performance of different product and packaging design alternatives.
It is important to note that the package and product are considered together, not separately. Although it is a comprehensive test, certain transit conditions, such as humidity, pressure, or unusual handling, may not be covered.
The test procedure is applicable to individually packaged products weighing up to 150 lbs (68 kg) when prepared for shipment. An exception applies to individually packaged products on a visible pallet or skid that weigh more than 100 lbs (45 kg); these can be tested according to the ISTA 1E or ISTA 3E test procedure.
Before carrying out the test, the shipper must determine several aspects:
1. What constitutes damage to the product.
2. The allowable damage tolerance level, if any.
3. The correct methodology for determining the product's condition at the end of the test.
4. The acceptable condition of the packaging at the end of the test.
In an ideal scenario, the samples to be tested should be the actual package and product. If these are not available, substitutes should be as identical as possible to the actual items. Only one sample is required for the tests in this procedure.
To allow for a more accurate determination of the packaged product's representative performance, ISTA recommends carrying out the procedure five times or more using new samples with each test, although it is necessary to perform the test only once.
Packages that have already undergone the rigors of transportation cannot be considered as representative of standard conditions. Therefore, products and packages shipped to certified laboratories for testing must either be over-packaged for shipment to the laboratory or re-packaged in new packaging at the laboratory.
The tests are carried out on each test sample in the following order:
- Pre-Conditioning (ambient)
- Vibration (alternative methods allowed - select one test type)
- Shock (alternative methods allowed - select one test type)
The parameters for these tests are as follows:
- For vibration, a peak-to-peak displacement of 1 inch (25mm) at a frequency to be determined is required.
- The drop test, the inclined impact test, and the horizontal impact test vary in height and impact speed depending on the weight of the packaged product.