ASTM D5265 Bridge Impact

Testing Standard:

ASTM D5265 Test Method for Bridge Impact Testing

Standard Number
ASTM D5265

Standard Title
Test Method for Bridge Impact Testing

Overview for ASTM D5265:

ASTM D5265 is a test method used to evaluate a longer package to withstand an impact found at its center when it is only supported at the ends. ASTM D5265 determines the severity and structural response of a bridge span subjected to a simulated impact load. It is primarily intended to evaluate bridge railing systems, but may also be used to evaluate bridge decks, barriers, and other components.


The test involves impacting the bridge railing system with a test vehicle that is guided along a designated path. The vehicle is propelled by a hydraulic ram and guided by a steel rail or cable system. The impact is directed at the midpoint of the rail or barrier being tested.


Several impact scenarios may be tested, including head-on, glancing, and angle impacts. The impact severity is varied by adjusting the speed and weight of the test vehicle and the angle of impact.


During the test, various parameters are measured to assess the structural response of the bridge, including the deflection and deformation of the railing system, as well as the acceleration and deceleration of the test vehicle.


The results of the test are used to evaluate the safety performance of the bridge railing system and to make recommendations for improvements or modifications to ensure compliance with safety standards.Purple Diamond Testing offers ASTM D5265 Testing as part of our packaging compliance and validation services.

Rationale for ASTM D5265:

ASTM D5265 – Test Method for Bridge Impact Testing. A bridged impact is a typical hazard a longer package may experience when shipped with other packages of mixed dimensions. The ability of the packaging to protect the inner part can be verified by simulating this impact under controlled lab conditions. This test method can be ideal when comparing varied materials used in design.

According to, 

“Significance and Use

4.1 Materials shipped in elongated packages are liable to damage because of impact near their midpoint when only the ends are supported. This type of damage can occur during the shipment of packaging of mixed dimensions. It is particularly prevalent during conveyer line transport and sortation. This test method supplies a means of deciding resistance to such damage.


1.1 This test method is intended to decide the capability of a long package with a narrow cross-section to resist impact near its center when the package is supported only at its ends. This test method allows the user to select from two test options: Option A employs the use of a free-fall drop tester (see Exhibit B), and Option B employs the use of simulated mechanical impact testing equipment (S.M.I.T.E.; see Exhibit A). The two optional procedures are designed to impart the same amount of kinetic energy at impact; therefore, each procedure yields equal damage-producing potential.

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

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all the safety problems, 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.”

This ASTM Testing method allows for a choice of using a free-fall drop tester OR a simulated piece of mechanical impact testing equipment.

If a free-fall drop tester is chosen for this testing method, the package is placed on the bottom part of the actual drop tester machine. The support blocks are placed parallel to each other. The impactor piece is then positioned on the drop table itself. There is a specific height requirement placed on the drop tester above the package being evaluated. The last part of the test involves the impactor being dropped on the package’s cross-section to produce a specific velocity for the dropped package.

The second choice uses the simulated mechanical impact testing equipment apparatus. This is where the package is to be evaluated on the table. The support blocks of the package are to be positioned parallel to each other. The impactor part of the machine is positioned so that it will strike the package with a long edge.


Key Points:

Related Standards:

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