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ASTM D4169 provides a guide for the evaluation of shipping units in accordance with a uniform system, using established test methods at levels representative of those occurring in actual distribution. This is accomplished by subjecting them to a test plan consisting of a sequence of anticipated hazard elements encountered in various distribution cycles. The recommended test levels are based on available information on the shipping and handling environment, and current industry/government practice and experience.
ASTM D4169 Distribution Cycles and Test Schedules
There are 18 different distribution cycles,10 different test schedules and three assurance levels defined in ASTM D4169. Choosing the right combination of distribution cycle, test schedule and assurance level is crucial to ensuring your shipping containers will withstand the distribution process and arrive in the hands of customers unharmed. Our expert technicians can help you identify the appropriate distribution cycle and test schedule for your given application.
- General cycle - undefined distribution system
- Specially defined distribution system, user specified
- Single package without pallet or skid, LTL motor freight
- Single package with pallet or skid, LTL motor freight
- Motor freight, TL, not unitized
- Motor freight, TL, or LTL-unitized
- Rail only, bulk loaded
- Rail only, unitized
- Rail and motor freight, not unitized
- Rail and motor freight, unitized
- Rail, trailer on flatcar or container on flatcar
- Air (intercity) and motor freight (local), over 150 lb, or unitized
- Air (intercity) and motor freight (local), single package up to 150 lb
- Export/import shipment for intermodal container or roll on/roll off trailer
- Export/import shipment for palletized cargo ship
- Export/import shipment for break bulk cargo ship
- Non-commercial government shipments per MIL-STD-2073
|Schedule||Hazard Element||Test Type|
|A||Handling - manual and mechanical||Drop, impact, stability|
|F||Loose load vibration||repetitive shock|
|G||Rail switching||longitudinal shock|
|I||Low pressure hazard||Vacuum|
Example Performance Test Schedule Sequence
Here is an example testing sequence for one of the more common ASTM D4169 distribution cycles:
ASTM D4169 Distribution Cycle 13: Air and motor freight, single package up to 150 lb
|1||A - Handling||Drop|
|2||C - Vehicle stacking||Compression|
|3||F - Loose-load vibration||Vibration|
|4||I - Low pressure||Vacuum|
|5||E - Vehicle vibration||Vibration|
|6||J - Concentrated impact||Impact|
|7||A - Handling||Drop|
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