Vibration Testing & ASTM D999

Package & Product Vibration Testing

Packages and the products that they protect can be exposed to complex dynamic stresses duringvibration_testing300x200.jpg transportation as well as other events and environments.  Vibration testing controls the input of these stresses and is used to determine the package's ability to function and protect in real world conditions. DDL performs vibration testing on packaging and products to simulate various environments.  DDL can also provide shock testing and shock fragility assessment.

There are three general environments that produce vibration and can be considered:

1) Transportation environment
Truck, air and rail transportation each expose packages and products to different vibrational stresses.  The anticipated transportation sequence can be simulated in the lab and provide results vital to a package's design and material selection.

2) Operating environment
Many products and their packaging have to survive the exposure to vibration on a regular basis.  Electronics that are required to function in vehicles and construction equipment are good examples where the effects of vibration should be considered in the product and package design.

3) Storage environment
Products and their packaging can experience vibration while in a storage environment such as warehouse racks and while resting on certain types of flooring.  External factors that can produce this kind of vibration include air conditioning, factory equipment and passing vehicles.

The procedure for this testing involves placing the product or package on a vibration testing table which is driven so the surface of the table vibrates in accordance with an accepted industry standard. The most common types of vibration testing equipment are:

  • Hydraulic Vibration  - Used for larger loads and lower frequency testing (1 - 500 HZ)
  • Electrodynamic Vibration  - Used for higher frequency testing (20 - 10,000 HZ)

Two of the most common vibration testing methods are:

1) Sinusoidal Testing
Sinusoidal vibration testing exposes the test specimen to a constant or slowly changing frequency over time. It is often used to determine a product's or package's resonant (sensitive) frequencies where the specimen is strategically instrumented with an accelerometer.  Resonant frequencies can point out weak areas of a design and when addressed, prevent field failures.

2) Random Testing
Random vibration testing is typically used to simulate real world environments. Random testing can be used to duplicate transportation, seismic and operating vibrations.

Many products and packages undergo vibration testing at either extremely hot or extremely cold temperatures. For example, aircraft parts would be tested at very cold temperatures, whereas under-the-hood automotive parts would be tested at a high temperature.

Commonly used industry standards for vibration testing

ASTM Standards

  • ASTM D999 - Vibration testing of shipping containers
  • ASTM D3580 - Vibration (vertical sinusoidal motion) test of products
  • ASTM D4728 - Random Vibration testing of shipping containers

ISO Standards

  • ISO 2247 - Vibration test at fixed low frequency
  • ISO 8318 - Vibration tests using a sinusoidal variable frequency
  • ISO 9022-10 - Combined sinusoidal Vibration, dry heat or cold
  • ISO 9022-15 - Combined random vibration wide band: reproductivity medium, in dry heat or cold
  • ISO 9022-19 - Temperature cycles combined with sinusoidal or random vibration

Other Standards

  • IEC 60068-2-64 -Environmental Testing: Part II, methods, vibration, broad-band random
  • EIA-RS-186 - Passive electronic component parts- Method 8- Vibration, High Frequency
  • JIS C0040 - Basic Environmental Testing Procedures Part II: Tests, Test Fc and Guidance: Vibration (sinusoidal)
  • MIL 167 - Military Standard, mech. vibrations of shipboard equipment
  • MIL 810 - Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests
  • NAVMAT P-9492 - Temperature Cycling and Random Vibration


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