Packaging is an important part of product delivery. This goes beyond how attractive the product packaging is but also determines whether your packaging will have your product delivered unharmed. It is for this reason that even your packaging must be tested before you settle for it and use it to deliver products to your customers.
Some lab tests carried out on your product packaging include; the edge crash test, puncture resistance test, vibration test, climate condition test, shock test, reduced pressure test, toxins regulation test, compression test, and the bursting strength test.
THE EDGE CRASH TEST (ECT)
The edge crush test measures the compressive force that a cardboard material can sustain in its loading position before it can collapse. This test is important because cartons are normally stacked for shipping, storage, and distribution purposes. However, space may be limited and the cartons may have to be stacked improperly to conserve space. This leads to the cartons getting compressed and stressed and thus collapsing.
The ECT will determine the amount of force needed to crush a section of the carton when standing on its edge.
The test involves the application of a load to the edge of the sample packaging material until the packaging material collapses. By doing so, you will know how much pressure your packaging material can stand before it collapses.
THE PUNCTURE RESISTANCE TEST
Before your product reaches the intended customer, it may go through many hands, some of whom may be careless in handling the package and puncture your package. The corners of other boxes, sharp edges, and sharp products within the package may also puncture the package.
It is for this reason that this test evaluates the amount of energy required to create a hole in your packaging material.
This test involves the use of a puncture resistance tester, a pendulum arm, and a steel pyramid head to physically hit the cardboard at a 90-degree arc to determine the energy needed to puncture through the board.
THE VIBRATION TEST
Your products will be transported using different modes, from the air, to ship to road transport such as trucks. These modes of transport often produce a vibration that is likely to affect the shipping carton and the products inside. This is why it is necessary to carry out a vibration test to assess the packaging material’s strength and ability to protect the inside product through these vibrations.
THE CLIMATE CONDITION TEST
Your packaging material must undergo this test because the climatic conditions of your sourcing destination may be different from the climatic conditions of your target market. It must therefore be established whether or not your packaging material will withstand any kind of climatic conditions to prevent the packaging material from deteriorating once exposed to different climatic conditions.
This test involves placing the packaging material in a specific climatic atmosphere chamber for a certain duration to reveal any changes in the physical properties of the packaging material.
REDUCED PRESSURE TEST
More often than not, reduction in air pressure during air transit causes containers to rapture, burst, or crack. This makes your products and their packages unfit for consumption and sells especially when it comes to liquid products.
This test involves the use of a calibrated vacuum chamber to simulate elevated air pressures. The initial pressure that is applied within an airtight chamber is measured against the final pressure after some time. Packaging vulnerabilities and leaks will be revealed by any changes in these two measurements.
TOXINS REGULATION TEST
This is an important test that ensures your packaging material complies with legal regulations.
These regulations include the reduction and elimination of cadmium, mercury, lead, and hexavalent chromium in packaging material. You must therefore test your packaging for toxins to ensure compliance.
This test is used to measure the ability of the packaging container to resist external compressive loads applied to it.
The test involves gradually compressing the packaging between two parallel platens to reveal any bulging, distorted, or damaged shape, damaged corners, or damage to products within.
BURSTING STRENGTH TEST (BST)
Also known as the Mullen test, BST also evaluates the strength of corrugated or cardboard material. BST is a measure of the force that is required to puncture through a corrugated or cardboard material. BST provides a general assessment of the carton’s strength as the test involves the application of force on the flat side of the packaging material.
It is an important test because shipments are most likely to be subjected to rough handling, therefore, knowing how much force your packaging material can resist will help avoid punctured packaging.
The need to test your products and product packaging cannot be done away with. There are of course other testing methods to be used, but laboratory tests will ensure compliance with various regulations and safer delivery of your products to the end customer. Take into consideration all the mentioned tests for your product packaging before neglecting the need to test your packaging material.