ISTA Test Procedure 1E is a procedure for evaluating the performance of unitized loads of packaged products, where multiple products or packaged products are tested as a single load. This is commonly observed in the transportation of goods, with examples such as a pallet of individual containers wrapped in stretch film, a machine secured to a pallet without packaging, or a pallet with a corrugated tray, tube, and cap.
ISTA Test Procedure 1E can be used to assess the overall performance of a packaged product and to compare the relative performance of packaging and product design alternatives. It considers the packaging and product together, rather than as separate entities. However, it is important to note that this test may not cover all transport conditions, such as humidity, pressure, or unusual handling. In such cases, other ISTA procedures may be more appropriate.
Test Procedure 1E provides a framework for testing unitized loads, whether composed of one or multiple products or packages of the same product. Prior to testing, the shipper must determine what constitutes damage to the product, the acceptable level of damage tolerance, if any, and the appropriate methodology for determining the product's condition at the conclusion of the test, as well as the acceptable condition of the packaging.
It is important to use untested samples that are as identical as possible to the actual product and packaging. For ISTA 1E, a single sample is required. However, ISTA recommends conducting the procedure five or more times using new samples each time to adequately determine the representative performance of the packaged product.
It should be noted that packages previously subjected to transportation cannot be assumed to represent standard conditions. To ensure testing under ideal conditions, products and packaging sent to certified laboratories for testing should either be overpacked for shipment or be reconditioned in new packaging at the laboratory.
Test Procedure 1E involves performing a sequence of tests on each sample, including:
- Atmospheric preconditioning tests (ambient)
- Vibration test with fixed linear displacement or random vibration (more representative of real-world conditions)
- Shock testing: horizontal or inclined impact
- Rotational edge drop