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Transit Packaging - Capability Statements

Sharps container puncture resistance test

Medical sharps bin puncture resistance

The medical devices and associated services industries are subject to strict quality standards testing. The complete life-cycle of the equipment is covered, including the safe disposal of used, contaminated items. Manufacturers of products involved with the safe discarding of medical devices with needles (‘sharps’) must conform to British Standards to provide proof against puncture by clinical waste materials. These sharps bins will be handled by staff from several organisations in the chain, not all specifically trained in medical practices, thus safety must be assured against the puncture of the container material by the waste. A puncture resistance testing process should allow a variety of sample types – specifically material thickness – to be securely located by means of an adjustable base fixture that has sufficient clearance to drive the needle point a certain distance through the surface of the standard diameter sample. An extension rod to fit the syringe hub is required for the crosshead fixture. Measurement of the peak force applied to create a breach can be achieved with computer controlled test programming and run from a touch screen console with each unique test associated with a sample type.

Mecmesin Systems: MultiTest touch-screen test system


Box crush test (BCT) and transit packaging compression testing

Boxes for the consumer and transit packaging industries must be as light as possible whilst still retaining a robustness to contain and protect their contents and also have the strength to stand up to shipping, handling and stacking requirements in service. The use of corrugation adds rigidity to paper and card packaging materials, which are tested in compression with several crush testing / top-load standards, namely the box crush test (BCT) and the related edge crush test (ECT) and stacking crush tests. Suppliers may also require modified tests to suit specific customer’s needs, as transit packaging particularly can undergo a variety of loading during its journey. The international industry quality assurance procedures for the box compression test may require self-levelling compression plate(s) in order to follow the pattern of failure, or some standards stipulate only the upper must be spherically pivoted to meet this requirement. Other standards indicate rigid compression plates when loading opposite sides (or corners) of the box. The BCT test loads the box at a constant rate to a nominal compressive load, or until the container collapses. In-house testing may use custom fixtures to load the box for unique crush situations such as edge to opposite edge.

Mecmesin Systems: Force test systems

Standards: ISO 12048, BS EN 22872:1993, ISO 2872:1985

Plastic film friction testing testing

Coefficient of friction testing methods for plastic film and sheeting

The static and kinetic dry friction properties of contacting surfaces is extremely significant in the labelling, packaging, print and warehousing/shipping/moving industries. Surfaces which move over each other easily are preferred in the production of packaging materials—influential for machine settings to control rollers, feeders and grabbers. Higher forces to initiate relative movement are desired in shipping processes, where the minimising of slipping is fundamental for safety reasons. Testing must be performed to evaluate the surface roughness and the effects of surface coatings and inks, as the COF of such a system cannot be calculated—it must be measured experimentally. The key standards require a horizontal test plane and a sponge-covered sled of a specified weight to apply a known normal force between the surfaces. The accurate determination of static friction, which is calculated from the measurement of the first peak force value as the surfaces begin sliding, may require an elastic linkage between the crosshead and the sled to control the inertial impact. Once movement is underway, if dynamic friction is to be calculated, the critical threat to accuracy becomes stick-slip and fish-tailing. In this situation the option of an interchangeable, rigid link is necessary. The results of five valid tests are used in the calculation and extreme care must be taken not to contaminate the samples, which may also need to undergo conditioning at a standard temperature and humidity level.

Mecmesin Systems: FPT-H1 Horizontal Tester, Grips, fixtures and accessories

Standards: ASTM D1894, BS EN ISO 8295

COF testing of paper and board

Coefficient of friction testing methods for paper and board

Sheet materials are produced in volume and supplied in bulk, in formats suitable for machine handling. Surface characteristics change through coating, inking, abrasion, folding, creasing and perforation. Coefficient of friction is significant to throughput and different at each change of use. Pulp and paper manufacture may utilise large rolls for web offset presses, large flat sheet-fed formats, down to digital presses, copiers and office printers. When considering supply of paper and board, customers specify COF requirements, in relation to machine and cross directions, and other attributes such as rub and blocking, if relevant. Testing based on standard ISO 15359 requires dedicated hardware to measure the forces and hence accurately calculate the static and kinetic friction. A horizontal plane method is used, with a sled dimensioned so as to exert a specified normal pressure on the contact surface. Importantly, there must be the capability to the set-down, dwell time and lift of the sled so as to protect the test pieces from surface damage and ensure that the sliding is also expressly controlled. This test covers the measurement of the static and kinetic coefficients of friction, the dynamic value being measured after three slides, and the calculation requires six valid results to average. Similar test standards do not stipulate an elevating mechanism, thus the ability also test without this feature adds versatility.


Mecmesin Systems: FPT-H1 Horizontal Friction Tester, ASTM 15359 Friction testing accessories

Standard: ISO 15359, Tappi T549

Pull-off testing of plastic closures

Bulk liquid carrier closures

Our client manufactures liquid bulk carriers with two-part plastic valve closures. The collar is welded to a plastic bag, and the valve closure is fixed onto it by a compression joint. These joints are tested for the force to connect the two, and to pull them apart. The force required can be as much as 25 kN.

Mecmesin designed a collar-retaining plate and flexibly-linked valve attachment to secure both parts without damage or distortion, on a twin-column test stand. The two parts are then pulled apart axially and uniformly, whilst allowing for uneven detachment.

Custom designed compression plates to box crush tests

Custom self-levelling plates

It's straightforward: you need self-levelling compression plates but you can't find the appropriate size as standard. Our client was performing flat crush (FCT) and edge crush (ECT) tests on cardboard for cartons.

Mecmesin regularly designs fixtures to custom dimensions, and in this case supplied the precision parts to the client's specifications. Whether compression plates, tensile grip jaws, custom hooks or torque grips, our apllications engineers are always on hand to meet the need where off-the-shelf products aren't suitable.

CD019 Metal case handle test 220Metal case handle and lock hasp operational strength

The functional attachments of transit packaging products: handles, locks, latches, hasps and clips, etc. are essential to the operation of the container. In the case of a military implementation – such as an ammunition case – it is imperative that these components perform as intended. The non-destructive testing of every production item for such a critical article, would also require a system that can hold the container securely yet allow swift change-over time between tests. In order to test both the handle and hasp of the locking mechanism for resistance to pull-off forces or material failure under tensile load, large and robust custom fixtures are required to grip the unusually-shaped features of the case. A console-operated test stand is suitable for a production environment, with the test programs able be run from a touch-screen icon to then apply the required load value for each element.

Mecmesin Systems: MultiTest touch-screen test system