Inclined impact testers

When packaged products travel through the supply chain, they are susceptible to experiencing significant shocks along the way.

Inclined impact testing simulates environmental dynamic forces that packaged goods may endure throughout transport and handling operations. These hazardous dynamics are simulated using impact test systems. Inclined impact test systems utilize a carriage that propels the test sample down a ramp at predetermined velocities before impacting into a fixed backstop. The specimen’s reaction to these extreme conditions indicates how the product would fare in real-world supply chain settings, allowing design engineers to make improvements to either the product and/or the protective packaging as needed.

This side impact testing is used in numerous laboratory applications, including product and packaging design, packaged product transport simulation, and palletized unit load stability validation.

How does side impact testing work?

Typically, inclined impact testing is carried out in a laboratory setting through a design department and testing team. The design department is responsible for developing the transport packaging solutions, while the testing team performs the impact test and validates the design work. However, there is no single procedure for performing inclined testing, as these methods depend on the industrial packaging standard in question. Some of the main organizations that establish guidelines for side impact testing include:

  • American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
  • International Safe Transit Association (ISTA).
  • Military Standard (MIL-STD).
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Each test standard specifies the required number of impacts, the impact velocity, which sides of the packaged product should be tested, and the order in which the impacts should occur.