U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 24, 2020
(a) General. The drop test must be conducted for the qualification of all packaging design types and performed periodically as specified in § 178.601(e). For other than flat drops, the center of gravity of the test packaging must be vertically over the point of impact. Where more than one orientation is possible for a given drop test, the orientation most likely to result in failure of the packaging must be used. The number of drops required and the packages' orientations are as follows:
|Packaging||No. of tests (samples)||Drop orientation of samples|
|Steel drums, Aluminum drums, Metal drums (other than steel or aluminum), Steel Jerricans, Plywood drums, Wooden barrels, Fiber drums, Plastic drums and Jerricans, Composite packagings which are in the shape of a drum||Six - (three for each drop)||First drop (using three samples): The package must strike the target diagonally on the chime or, if the packaging has no chime, on a circumferential seam or an edge. Second drop (using the other three samples): The package must strike the target on the weakest part not tested by the first drop, for example a closure or, for some 7 cylindrical drums, the welded longitudinal seam of the drum body.|
|Boxes of natural wood, Plywood boxes, Reconstituted wood boxes, Fiberboard boxes, Plastic boxes, Steel, aluminum or other metal boxes, Composite packagings that are in the shape of a box||Five - (one for each drop)||First drop: Flat on the bottom (using the first sample). Second drop: Flat on the top (using the second sample). Third drop: Flat on the long side (using the third sample). Fourth drop: Flat on the short side (using the fourth sample). Fifth drop: On a corner (using the fifth sample).|
|Bags - single-ply with a side seam||Three - (three drops per bag)||First drop: Flat on a wide face (using all three samples). Second drop: Flat on a narrow face (using all three samples). Third drop: On an end of the bag (using all three samples).|
|Bags - single-ply without a side seam, or multi-ply||Three - (two drops per bag)||First drop: Flat on a wide face (using all three samples). Second drop: On an end of the bag (using all three samples).|
(b) Exceptions. For testing of single or composite packagings constructed of stainless steel, nickel, or monel at periodic intervals only (i.e., other than design qualification testing), the drop test may be conducted with two samples, one sample each for the two drop orientations. These samples may have been previously used for the hydrostatic pressure or stacking test. Exceptions for the number of steel, aluminum and other metal packaging samples used for conducting the drop test are subject to the approval of the Associate Administrator.
(c) Special preparation of test samples for the drop test. (1) Testing of plastic drums, plastic jerricans, plastic boxes other than expanded polystyrene boxes, composite packagings (plastic material), and combination packagings with plastic inner packagings other than plastic bags intended to contain solids or articles must be carried out when the temperature of the test sample and its contents has been reduced to −18 °C (0 °F) or lower. Test liquids must be kept in the liquid state, if necessary, by the addition of anti-freeze. Water/anti-freeze solutions with a minimum specific gravity of 0.95 for testing at −18 °C (0 °F) or lower are considered acceptable test liquids. Test samples prepared in this way are not required to be conditioned in accordance with § 178.602(d).
(d) Target. The target must be a rigid, non-resilient, flat and horizontal surface.
(e) Drop height. Drop heights, measured as the vertical distance from the target to the lowest point on the package, must be equal to or greater than the drop height determined as follows:
(1) For solids and liquids, if the test is performed with the solid or liquid to be transported or with a non-hazardous material having essentially the same physical characteristic, the drop height must be determined according to packing group, as follows:
(i) Packing Group I: 1.8 m (5.9 feet).
(ii) Packing Group II: 1.2 m (3.9 feet).
(iii) Packing Group III: 0.8 m (2.6 feet).
(2) For liquids in single packagings and for inner packagings of combination packagings, if the test is performed with water:
(i) Where the materials to be carried have a specific gravity not exceeding 1.2, drop height must be determined according to packing group, as follows:
(A) Packing Group I: 1.8 m (5.9 feet).
(B) Packing Group II: 1.2 m (3.9 feet).
(C) Packing Group III: 0.8 m (2.6 feet).
(ii) Where the materials to be transported have a specific gravity exceeding 1.2, the drop height must be calculated on the basis of the specific gravity (SG) of the material to be carried, rounded up to the first decimal, as follows:
(A) Packing Group I: SG × 1.5 m (4.9 feet).
(B) Packing Group II: SG × 1.0 m (3.3 feet).
(C) Packing Group III: SG × 0.67 m (2.2 feet).
(f) Criteria for passing the test. A package is considered to successfully pass the drop tests if for each sample tested -
(1) For packagings containing liquid, each packaging does not leak when equilibrium has been reached between the internal and external pressures, except for inner packagings of combination packagings when it is not necessary that the pressures be equalized;
(2) For removable head drums for solids, the entire contents are retained by an inner packaging (e.g., a plastic bag) even if the closure on the top head of the drum is no longer sift-proof;
(3) For a bag, neither the outermost ply nor an outer packaging exhibits any damage likely to adversely affect safety during transport;
(4) The packaging or outer packaging of a composite or combination packaging must not exhibit any damage likely to affect safety during transport. Inner receptacles, inner packagings, or articles must remain completely within the outer packaging and there must be no leakage of the filling substance from the inner receptacles or inner packagings;
(5) Any discharge from a closure is slight and ceases immediately after impact with no further leakage; and
(6) No rupture is permitted in packagings for materials in Class 1 which would permit spillage of loose explosive substances or articles from the outer packaging.