ISTA 3B

ISTA 3B is a test for packaged products for less-than-truckload (LTL) shipment. It is used to simulate shipping in the less-than-truckload environment. Micom offers ISTA 3B testing as part of its Package testing services.

ISTA 3B Uses and Factors to Be Considered

ISTA 3B testing is a general simulation test for packaged products through a motor carrier delivery system where different types of packaged products, often from different shippers and intended for different ultimate destinations, are mixed in the same truckload. ISTA 3B segregates the packages in four following package types: Standard (200 lbs or less), Standard (over 200 lbs), Cylindrical, Palletized or Skidded.  The tests and the test conditions change as a function of the package type.  While testing to this standard, the package and product are considered together and not separately. They both need to be tested together. Samples can also be tested under specific atmospheric transit conditions such as moisture, low or high temperature. Should you have any questions or need help, please contact our material testing lab. Our experts will be happy to work with you to tailor the best possible test plan given your needs.

ISTA 3B requires a minimum of 1 sample to be tested.  For final packaging design purposes a higher number of samples is recommended (ideally 5 or more).  However, only testing one sample is mandatory to establish compliance.

For unitized loads of the same product shipped by truckloads, you should also consider ISTA 3E or ASTM D4169 tests.

Test Sequence

The tests shall be performed on each test sample in the sequence indicated in the table below  Please note this table is only an example and that the test sequence will change as a function of package type your product falls in.

ISTA 3B – STANDARD, 200 lb (91kg) or less

Sequence #Test CategoryTest TypeTest LevelFor ISTA Certification
1Atmospheric Precondition

TEST BLOCK 1

Temperature and humidityAmbientRequired
2Atmospheric Condition

TEST BLOCK 1

Controlled temperature and humidityTemperature and humidity  chosen from chartOptional
3Shock

TEST BLOCK 2

Tip/Tip overUse a 22 degree tip angleRequired for packages ≥ 48 in (1.2m) tall and ≥100lb (45kg) weight and any base dimension < ½ the height, or

for packages ≥ 30 in (760 mm) tall and with a center of gravity vertical location >½ the package height

4Shock TEST BLOCK 3Free-Fall Drop6 drops – height varies  with packaged-product weightRequired
5Vertical Vibration

TEST BLOCK 7

Random with top loadOverall Gmrs level of 0.54Required
6Shock

TEST BLOCK 10

Concentrated ImpactImpact mass free-fall drop, guided drop, or pendulum, 15 in (380 mm)Required only for Non-Rigid Containers
7Shock

TEST BLOCK 11

Free-Fall Drop6 drops – height varies  with packaged-product weightRequired
8Shock

TEST BLOCK 16

Full Rotational Drop1 dropRequired only for Elongated packages
9Shock

TEST BLOCK 17

Bridged ImpactHazard Box dropped 16 in (410 mm)Required only for Elongated packages
10Shock

TEST BLOCK 16

Full Rotational Drop2 dropsRequired only for Flat packages
11Shock

TEST BLOCK 16

Concentrated Edge ImpactHazard box dropped 16 in (410 mm)Required only for Flat packages

Other Related Test Methods

For additional related test methods; please see ISTA testing, Package Testing or ASTM Packaging.

We hope that you found the information above about the ISTA 3B test valuable. If you have any questions about packaging testing or if you would like to discuss a custom package test for your products, we invite you to contact us today. It will be our pleasure to answer your questions.

We also invite you to learn more about our package testing services by consulting our brochure below: