ASTM D642 Compression Test Report

ASTM D642 tests the compressive resistance of shipping containers including boxes and drums and components. ASTM D642 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. ASTM D642 is closely related to TAPPI T804.

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. Our engineers are familiar with ASTM D642 and can help guide you through the testing process, but we recommend you purchase and read the official ASTM standard to achieve the best results.

Preparing the Specimens

Specimens for ASTM D642 should be the full shipping container prepared in the same way that it will be used for packing and shipping. You should make sure to test five or more samples and average the data to improve the statistical reliability of the data.

ASTM D642 Test Procedure

  1. Center specimen on lower fixed platen of your compression test machine in desired orientation.
  2. Bring platens into contact with specimen and apply an initial pre-load.
  3. Apply compressive load at .5 +/- .1 in/min until failure or specified load is reached.
  4. Record the force at failure or each critical deformation position.
370 Compression Test Machine for ASTM D642

Advice from Our Engineers

Users can choose to test with fixed or spherical platens. Fixed platens are rigidly mounted and can be used for corner testing, edge testing or face-to-face testing (opposite sides of the box). Spherical platens can be used in face-to-face testing to allow the platen to change angles and stay in contact with the non-uniform crushing of a container. Speak with one of our fixture specialists to learn more about our compression platens.

Equipment Required for ASTM D642

Your compression test machine choice will depend on the maximum specimen size that you need to test. A 100 or 140 Series Universal Test Machine would be a good choice for smaller boxes and crates. The 300 Series Universal Test Machine is a common choice for this standard, and specifically the 370 Family are best for wide column spacing for large boxes, crates and pallets. Our engineers would recommend pairing your compression tester with Xy Software to allow the user to collect all force and displacement data points during the test.

Compression Platens and Accessories

Our engineers recommend that you pair your compression test machine with an upper platen fit with a spherical bearing to ensure even distribution of load. The best platen choice would be the TestResources G223 with an upper bearing. The lower platen should be rigid, such as the G23 Compression Platen (this platen is required for edge or corner testing). Both platens need to be large enough to completely cover each end of the specimen. We can create custom platens to your required specimen size.

Give one of our engineers a call today and they can help guide you through the ASTM D642 test process with the best machine configuration for your requirements.

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