ISTA 3E

ISTA 3E  is a unitized loads of same product test. It is used for simulating shipping environments for pallet shippers. Micom offers ISTA 3E testing as part of our Package testing services. We can test pallets up to 60” by 96” and 5,000 lbs.

ISTA 3E use and factors to consider

ISTA 3E is a general simulation test for unitized loads of packaged products.  A unitized load is defined as one or more products or packaged-products usually on a skid or pallet, but always secured together or restrained for distribution as a single load. ASTM D4169 could also be used for this application.

This standard can be used to evaluate the protective performance of packaged products related to vibrations, shocks and other stresses normally encountered during handling and transportation.  It can also be used to evaluate load stability.  The test levels are based on general data and may not represent any specific distribution system.  For a more specific simulation; see ISTA 4AB or contact our experts. For pallet loads shipped through a LTL environment, please consider using ISTA 3B.

While testing to ISTA 3E, the package and product are considered together and not separately, i.e.: they both need to be tested together. Some conditions of transit, such as moisture, pressure.

ISTA 3E 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 is mandatory to establish compliance.

Should you wish to have a more specific test, our services can be as specific as recording vibrations and shocks on actual shipments and then reproducing them in our laboratory under controlled yet accelerated conditions.

ISTA 3E  test sequence

The tests shall be performed on each test sample in the sequence indicated in the following table:

Sequence #

Test Category

Test Type

Test Level

For ISTA Certification

1

Atmospheric
Preconditioning

Temperature and Humidity

Ambient

Required

2

Atmospheric
Conditioning

Controlled Temperature and Humidity

Temperature and Humidity chosen from chart

Optional

3

Shock
(Alternative methods allowed – select one test type)

Incline Impact (Conbur)

42 in per second (1.1 m per second)

Required

Horizontal Impact

42 in per second (1.1 m per second)

4

Shock

Rotational Edge Drop

8 in (200 mm)

Required

5

Compression
(Alternative methods allowed – select one test type)

Machine Apply and Release

Calculated Test Force x 1.4

Required

Machine Apply and Hold

Calculated Test Force

Weight and Load Spreader

Calculated Test Load

6

Vibration

Random

Overall Grms level of 0.54

Required

7

Shock

Rotational Edge Drop

8 in (200 mm)

Required

Other related test methods

For additional related test methods we recommend reading more about ISTA testingPackage Testing or ASTM Packaging.

If you have any questions about ISTA 3E test or other packaging tests, we invite you to contact our material testing lab today. It will be our pleasure to answer your custom testing questions,

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

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