Hazardous Goods Package Testing

All hazardous materials packaging is required to successfully complete testing before it is available for product transportation. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in serious injury to those handling the package and fines to the shipper of the product. Rigorous testing is essential to ensuring a package containing hazardous goods can withstand all typical road hazards experienced during transportation and guaranteeing safety when handling hazardous goods packages in transit. Utilizing the correct packaging during shipping depends on the given package’s hazard classification and its physical attributes. For example, shipping corrosive elements in metal packaging would chemically react and the hazardous goods would eventually break down the metal packaging used to contain it.

What is Hazardous Goods Package Testing?

Any packaged hazardous material requires compliance with regulatory standards to ensure containment of the material through the entire distribution cycle. Packaging safety requirements set forth by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) govern the transportation of hazardous goods by ground and air. Shipments containing hazardous goods must be packaged in performance packaging consisting of inner and outer packaging designed, tested, and certified for the containment of hazardous materials. These packaging systems can then be identified by United Nations (UN) markings specifying the certification for containment of specific hazardous material classes and packing groups.

How To Certify Your Hazardous Goods Packaged Product For UN/DOT PHMSA

Dangerous substances and materials are initially placed in one of nine hazard classes, better known as UN Classes according to their main hazard type (listed below). An assessment is then made of the relative hazard of a substance or material within the same class. Each substance is given an identification number to ensure identification during transit is possible. These identification numbers are commonly known as UN numbers. The UN suggests that all UN numbers be displayed on all transit documents and included on packages, shipping containers, and vehicles along with an official description of the material or substance.

UN Packaging Codes

The storage and transportation of hazardous materials (HAZMAT) is overseen and regulated by federal and international law. A comprehensive marking system called the UN marking guide was developed so that HAZMAT packaging can describe what type and how much of a material may be transported within a package. A UN code is a universal system of demarcation developed by the United Nations and used internationally for the classification, packaging, marking, and labeling of dangerous goods to better transport them safely. Rigorous testing is required before a UN certification mark can be given.

Character Description
The United Nations Coding/Marking System
Type of Package 1 = Drums/Pails
2 = Barrels
3 = Jerricans
4 = Boxes
5 = Bags
6 = Composite Packagings
Material of Construction A = Steel
B = Aluminum
C = Wood
D = Fibre
F = Reconstituted Wood
G = Fiberboard
H = Plastic
Category Type 1 = Closed Head
2 = Open Head
Packaging Group for Container Tested X = Packaging Group I, II, and III
Y = Packaging Group II and III
Z = Packaging Group III

Packaging Group I:
Great Danger – High Hazard Level

Packaging Group II:
Medium Danger – Medium Hazard Level

Packaging Group III:
Minor Danger – Low Hazard Level
Maximum Gross Mass or Specific Gravity Packaging Intended for Solids: (powders, pills, capsules, tablets) or that have inner packaging, this marking will indicate the maximum gross mass (weight) in kilograms.

Packaging Intended for Liquids: Density or Specific Gravity of Material Packed
Solids or Inner Packaging Hydraulic Pressure in Kilo-Pascal (kPa)

For Packaging Intended for Solids or That Have Inner Packaging, Upper Case “S” Will Follow the Gross Mass
Year of Manufacture Current Year
Location of Manufacture Country Where Container Was Manufactured
Manufacturer Code Code for UN Certifying Agency or Manufacturer

Transportation of Hazardous Materials Regulations – 49 CFR Part 178

Part 178 Specifications for Packagings

This section of the code of federal regulations for the transportation of hazardous materials details the manufacturing and testing specifications for packaging and containers used to transport hazardous goods.

Subpart M Testing of Non-bulk Packagings and Packages

Why Purple Diamond?

Purple Diamond is proud to rank among a select few companies authorized by PHMSA as an approved third party package testing laboratory in accordance with Hazardous Materials Regulations. We offer rigorous testing for transporting hazardous goods across a wide range of industries. Our dedicated efforts include everything from helping pharmaceutical customers test their healthcare products within our fully-certified lab to improving consumer packaged products with reliability and fragility testing.

At Purple Diamond, the integrity of your packaged product is our number one priority during hazardous goods package testing. Our team is committed to delivering high-quality results as we develop a comprehensive solution to your specific testing needs.

Accreditations

Achieving ISO 17025 Accreditation is the pinnacle in third-party laboratory testing accreditation. It confirms that the facility has management, quality, and technical systems in place to ensure accurate and reliable analyses.
ISTA is revered as the certification standard for package testing for distribution. ISTA’s Testing Protocol remains a series of testing methodologies and standards well recognized within the packaging community.
A select few companies are authorized by PHMSA as an approved third-party packaging testing laboratory in accordance with Hazardous Materials Regulations, critical to ensuring safe transport of dangerous goods.

Affiliations

With over 12,000 standards globally, ASTM International’s fully transparent standards development enhances performance and confidence in consumer choices.
The Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry’s peer-reviewed standards improve production through operational methods and industry recognized best practices.

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