ISTA Test Procedure 2C is a method designed to assess the performance and robustness of individually packaged furniture products, known as Case Goods, during transportation. While traditionally used for hard goods rather than upholstered furniture, this technique can be applied to any type of furniture being transported in a container.
The primary objectives of ISTA Test Procedure 2C include:
- Evaluating the overall performance of a packaged product.
- Comparing the relative performance of different product and packaging design alternatives.
- Assessing packaged products intended for international distribution.
In this procedure, the packaging and product are considered together, rather than separately. However, it is important to note that certain transportation conditions, such as humidity, pressure, or unusual handling, may not be covered by this test procedure.
Before conducting the test, the shipper must determine:
- What constitutes damage to the product.
- The acceptable level of damage tolerance, if applicable.
- The correct methodology for determining the product's condition at the end of the test.
- The acceptable condition of the packaging upon test completion.
Ideally, the sample used for testing should be the actual product and packaging. However, in cases where the actual items are not available, substitutes that closely resemble the original items must be used.
Only one sample is required for testing in this procedure. However, for accurate determination of representative performance of the packaged product, ISTA recommends conducting the procedure five times or more using new samples for each test.
It is important to note that packaging that has already been subjected to the rigors of transportation cannot be assumed to represent standard conditions. To ensure tests are conducted under ideal conditions, products and packaging shipped to certified laboratories for testing must either be overpacked for shipment to the laboratory or re-packaged in new packaging at the laboratory.
The procedure references specific equipment and conditions:
- ASTM D4332 for atmospheric preconditioning.
- ASTM D5487, ASTM D880, ASTM D4003, and ASTM D6179 for shock and drop tests.
- ASTM D4728 for vibration tests.
For different conditions or objectives, other ISTA procedures may be more appropriate. For example, ISTA General Simulation Performance Test Procedure 3A or ISTA General Simulation Performance Test Procedure 3E could be considered.
The test sequence is as follows:
- Atmospheric preconditioning
- Atmospheric conditioning
- Random vibration