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ASTM D642-15

ASTM D642-15

Standard Test Method for Determining Compressive Resistance of Shipping Containers, Components, and Unit Loads

2020-10-22 /Historical
Superseeded by:
Significance and Use:

4.1 Compressive resistance is one of the properties used to evaluate the ability of shipping containers, components, and unit loads to successfully survive the compressive forces they are subjected to during storage and distribution (see Note 1).

Note 1: For constant load test refer to Test Method D4577.

4.2 Compressive resistance may be determined with either fixed- or swiveled-platen-type testing machines. However, a fixed-head compression machine is required to perform edge-to-edge and corner-to-corner orientations on test specimens (see Note 2). Also, unit loads are generally tested only in the top-to-bottom orientation.

Note 2: Fixed-platen machines generally cause corrugated box specimens to fail at their strongest point, while swivel-platen machines cause corrugated box specimens to fail at their weakest point.5 The swiveled platen is allowed to move to the weakest point of the container.


1.1 This test method covers compression tests on shipping containers (for example, boxes and drums) or components, or both. Shipping containers may be tested with or without contents. The procedure may be used for measuring the ability of the container to resist external compressive loads applied to its faces, to diagonally opposite edges, or to corners (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2). This test method covers testing of multiple containers or unit loads, in addition to individual shipping containers, components, materials, or combination thereof.

1.2 The test method of applying load may be used to compare the characteristics of a given design of container with a standard, or to compare the characteristics of containers differing in construction.

1.3 This test method is related to TAPPI T804, which is similar for fixed platen machines but does not recognize swivel platen machines. This test method fulfills the requirements of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Test Method 12048. The ISO standards may not meet the requirements for this test method.

1.4 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

compression; compression strength; corrugated boxes; dynamic load; fixed platen; floating platen; packaging; shipping containers; unit loads;
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