Performance Oriented Packaging (POP) Testing for Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT)

Any packaging configuration intended to transport regulated HAZMAT must be certified according to performance standards. For certification, universally adopted domestic and international modal regulations mandate strict performance testing of the packaging configuration, which is comprised of the container and its components.

PSCC’s Logistics Testing and Applications Division (LTAD) actively conducts, performance tests covering a wide spectrum of HAZMAT packagings. As the Army's executive agent for HAZMAT, we have the capability to conduct POP testing of HAZMAT packaging required by Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which is used to certify non-bulk HAZMAT packaging configurations. The test parameters used for conducting specific test(s) are defined by the 49 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Hazardous Materials Regulation. ASTM standards are incorporated to provide guidance for testing procedures, specifically ASTM D 4919, Standard Specification for Testing of Hazardous Materials Packagings. This standard covers the testing of packagings to United Nations standards intended for transportation of HAZMAT.

While most configurations tested are non-bulk, we also have the capability to conduct the regulated performance tests specific to Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs), limited and excepted quantities, containers of foreign origin, Class 1 (explosives), infectious substances (class 6.2), diagnostic specimens, regulated medical waste, and salvage containers, to name just a few. Testing and evaluation are conducted in accordance with current transportation and modal regulations. We routinely use ASTM test methods and are one of the few facilities with the ability to perform complete design validation of shipping containers in accordance with the requirements of ASTM D 4169, Distribution Cycle 18 (government shipments). LTAD also has the unique distinction of being the only government laboratory that is certified by the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA)

Both the Lead Service and HAZMAT Testing Programs utilize a number of pertinent Federal, military, and industry test methods, standards, and specifications which facilitate the accomplishment of necessary tests on packaging materials, processes, machinery, storage, and materials handling equipment.

Among these are:

• MIL-STD-810 - Environmental Test Methods and Engineering Guidelines
• MIL-HDBK-147 - Palletized Unit Loads
• Standards as prescribed by TAPPI, ASTM, and ANSI
• Unique user defined test requirements for materials, performance, or processes

ASC PSCC is also tasked with evaluation of a variety of containers and packaging configurations as they relate to Hazardous Materials Performance Packaging, as prescribed by the United Nations Committee of Experts Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. These recommendations are commonly referred to as "The Orange Book", and are implemented in modal regulations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions, and the International Maritime Organization. For shipments originating in the United States, testing requirements are prescribed in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations, subpart M of part II. Since the modal and transportation regulations do not describe how testing is to be accomplished, ASC PSCC conducts HAZMAT packaging performance testing according to ASTM D4919, Standard Specification for Performance Testing of Hazardous Materials Packagings. The ASC PSCC LTAD Laboratory is a certified ISTA testing facility

Since 1996, PSCC has been under contract to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), performing the required testing for compliance to Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The testing and technical expertise supplied to the DOT is utilized in situations where enforcement actions are taken for regulation violations, as well as the continued improvement of test methods and equipment used by industry for the certification of HAZMAT packaging.

In addition, PSCC is affiliated with several different and varied professional organizations:
• American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
• American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
• ASTM International (ASTM)
• Association of the United States Army (AUSA)
• Federally Employed Women (FEW)
• General Services Administration (GSA)
• Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE)
• Institute of Packaging Professionals (IOPP)
• International Organization of Standardization (ISO)
• International Safe Transit Association (ISTA)
• Materials Handling Institute (MHI)
• North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
• Non-Government Standards Bodies (NGSBs)
• National Institute of Packaging, Handling, and Logistics Engineers (NIPHLE)
• Packaging Machinery Manufacturer's Institute (PMMI)
• Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI)

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For more information contact:

For further information on testing materials or packaging, please contact:
(570) 615-6611 or DSN 795-6611
write to Chief:
11 Hap Arnold Blvd
Tobyhanna, PA 18466-5097