ASTM & ISTA Test Standards Lab

The ASTM and ISTA protocols or standards are the formal, industry-recognized consensus documents used to conduct testing. The combined effects of their proper use by our highly-trained staff, advanced equipment, calibrated instrumentation, and Westpak's Quality Management System (QMS) enables accurate and reliable test data generation.

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Tests & Test Standards at Westpak

When testing consumer goods and packaging systems, accuracy is essential. In order to ensure test samples, like medical devices and pharmaceuticals, are tested safely, reliably, and consistently, distinguished labs adhere to very specific testing guidelines from organizations such as ISTA and ASTM.

The International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) and American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) author product and package testing standards for laboratories like Westpak to follow. These standards create parameters that help labs simulate realistic environments that a product and/or packaging system will likely be subjected to in a transit setting. Additionally, some testing standards, like the ISTA 3 Series, may be required by couriers before transit.

A variety of testing standards may be applied to a test sample depending on what it is, its transit and storage cycle, and the regulatory guidelines that may govern the product or its respective industry. For example, pharmaceuticals must adhere to different testing standards than computer hardware.

Testing Performed at Westpak


Transport Simulation Performance Testing

Test Method(s)

» Distribution Testing » ASTM D4169, ASTM D7386
» Mechanical Handling » ASTM D6055
» Non-simulation Integrity Performance Testing » ISTA 1A, ISTA 1B, ISTA 1C, ISTA 1D, ISTA 1E, ISTA 1F, ISTA 1G, ISTA 1H
» Partial Simulation Performance Testing » ISTA 2A, ISTA 2B, ISTA 2C, ISTA 2D, ISTA 2E, ISTA 2F
» General Simulation Performance Testing » ISTA 3A, ISTA 3B, ISTA 3E, ISTA 3F, ISTA 3H, ISTA 3K
» Packaged Products for Sam’s Club » ISTA 6 SAM’S CLUB, ISTA 6-FEDEX-A, ISTA 6-FEDEX-B
» Packaged Products for Amazon » ISTA,
» Over Box (OB), Ships in
» Own Container (SIOC)
» Reusable Container Tests » ISTA 7B
» Cold Chain Temperature Testing » ISTA 7D
» Thermal Transport Packaging » ISTA 7E

Vibration Testing

» Sinusoidal Vibration » ASTM D3580; IEC 60068-2-6
» Random Vibration » ASTM D4728
» Loose Load Vibration » ASTM D999
» Gross Leak of Threaded or Lug Style Closures » ASTM D5094
» Horizontal Vibration Testing » ASTM D5112
» Vibration Testing to Determine Abrasion Resistance
» ASTM D5416
» MIL-STD-810 514.6 (Procedures I & II only)
» Vibration Testing of Bulk Containers Used for Liquid Dangerous Goods » ASTM D7387

Shock Testing

» Shock Testing » ASTM D3332;
» IEC 60068-2-27;
» MIL-STD-810 516.6 (Procedures I-VI only)
» Simulated Drop of Loaded Containers by Shock Machine » ASTM D5487
» Instrumented Package Shock Testing for Determination of Package » ASTM D6537
» Shock Testing of Foam in Place Materials » ASTM D4168

Drop Testing

» Drop Testing » ASTM D5276
» Concentrated Impact Testing » ASTM D6344
» Mechanical Handling of Unitized Loads » ASTM D6179
» Bridge Impact Testing » ASTM D5265
» Incline Impact Testing » ASTM D880, ASTM D5277
» Horizontal Impact Testing » ASTM D4003
» Drop Test for Corrugated Containers » TAPPI T802
» Impact Resistance of Fiberboard Shipping Containers » TAPPI T801

Tensile Testing

» Measuring Adhesion by Tape » ASTM D3359
» Sheer Adhesion of Pressure Tapes » ASTM D3654
» Machine Direction Elastic Recovery and Stress Retention of Stretch Wrap Film » ASTM D5459
» Peel Adhesion – Tape » ASTM D3330
» Seal Strength Testing » ASTM F88
» Tensile Properties of Plastic Sheeting » ASTM D882
» Tensile Strength and Elongation – Tape » ASTM D3759/ASTM D3759M
» Tensile Testing of Paperboard » TAPPI T494

Compression Testing

» Compression Testing » ASTM D642
» Compression Resistance of Package Under Static Load » ASTM D4577
» Flat Crush Test (FCT) Using Flexible Beam » TAPPI T808
» Ring Crush Test of Paperboard » TAPPI T818
» Pin Adhesion Test » TAPPI T821
» Compression Test of Containers » TAPPI T804
» Flat Crush Test (FCT) » TAPPI T825
» Edge Crush Test (ECT) Using Neckdown Sample » TAPPI T838
» Creep Properties of Cushion » ASTM D2221
» Slow Rate Penetration of Flexible Barrier Films » ASTM F1306

Environmental Conditioning

» Environmental Conditioning » ASTM D4332
» High Temperature » MIL-STD-810 501.5
» Low Temperature » MIL-STD-810 502.5
» Temperature Shock » MIL-STD-810 503.5
» Freeze/Thaw Testing » MIL-STD-810 524
» Humidity Testing » MIL-STD-810 507.5
» Altitude Testing » ASTM D6653
» Low Pressure (Altitude) » MIL-STD-810 500.5
» Accelerated Aging » ASTM F1980
» Damp Heat Test » IEC 61215 (Clause 10.13)
» IEC 61646 (Clause 10.13)
» IEC 61730-2 (Clause 53)
» IEC 62093 (Clause 11.13)
» IEC 62093 (Clause 11.15)
» IEC 62108 (Clause 10.7)
» Salt Fog Testing » ASTM B117
» MIL-STD-202 101E
» MIL-STD-810 509.5
» Conditioning of Paperboard » TAPPI T402
» Effect of Dry Heat on Properties of Paperboard » TAPPI T453
» Effect of Moist Heat on Properties of Paperboard » TAPPI T544
» Accelerated Aging of Pressure Sensitive Tapes » ASTM D3611
» Climatic Stressing of Parcels for Delivery » ASTM F2825
» Thermal Insulation Performance of Packages » ASTM D3103
» Leak Testing of Containers Using Vacuum Method » ASTM D4991
» Environmental Operating Conditions » IEC 60601-1-11 (Clause 4.2.2)

Mullen Burst Testing

» Burst Strength of Paper » TAPPI T403
» Burst Strength of Paperboard and Linerboard » TAPPI T807
» Burst Strength of Corrugated and Solid Fiberboard » TAPPI T810

Medical Packaging Testing

» Bubble Emission Testing » ASTM F2096
» Burst Testing » ASTM F1140
» Dye Penetration Testing » ASTM F1929, ASTM F3039
» Determination of Leaks in Packages by Bubble Emission » ASTM D3078
» Burst Testing Using Restraining Plates » ASTM F2054

Manual Test Input

» Visual Inspection of Seals for Flexible Packaging » ASTM F1886

Mechanical Tests (Non-Solar)

» Ink Rub Test of Container Board » TAPPI T830
» Abrasion Resistance (Scuff Testing) » ASTM D5264

Mechanical Photovoltaic Tests

» Hail Impact Test » IEC 61215 (Clause 10.17)
» IEC 61646 (Clause 10.17)
» IEC 62108 (Clause 10.9)

Ultra Violet (UV) Chamber Tests

» UV Exposure (QUV) » ASTM G154

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to our most frequently asked questions.

ASTM vs. ISTA testing at Westpak

ASTM International and the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) have created thousands of testing standards for many industries; Westpak's testing is focused on products and packaging and uses just a few. Some protocols document test processes and parameters for package systems, enabling labs to simulate in-transit environments that a product and packaging system will likely encounter.

Compliance with more than one test standard may be required depending on the product, its distribution and storage cycle, and regulatory guidelines for its industry. For example, a pharmaceutical container may require testing for breakage, a child-proof enclosure, leak, cold chain, label abrasion, etc. Also, achieving package compliance with testing standards like the ISTA 3 Series may be required by couriers to qualify for transit; Amazon requires vendor package certification to the ISTA 6 Series protocols.

The most notable difference between ISTA and ASTM testing standards is how they’re presented. The ASTM packaging testing standards are detailed in the official literature, but the levels, sequences, and orientations are left to the discretion of the test operator. ISTA testing protocols, on the other hand, are meant to adapt to unique package-related conditions or configurations, with each testing procedure containing thorough step-by-step instructions, including levels, sequences, and orientations, that must be strictly followed.

How do I determine whether I need ASTM or ISTA testing?

Determining whether you need ISTA or ASTM testing ultimately depends on the type of product or packaging system being tested, as well as its transit and distribution method. If the object is being sent via FedEx or UPS, for example, this may influence your decision. Likewise, if your test sample is only being transported on the East Coast, you may benefit from a different testing series than a sample that will be distributed cross-country. Selecting the best ISTA and ASTM testing standards at Westpak can seem overwhelming at first, but our team is here to help identify the ideal solution for your testing needs. Selecting the best ISTA and ASTM testing standards at Westpak can seem overwhelming at first, but our team is here to help identify the ideal solution for your testing needs.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of ASTM and ISTA?

Reviewing the potential benefits and drawbacks of ASTM and ISTA testing standards at Westpak can be a helpful exercise to identify the type of testing that best suits your needs. Let’s take a look.

  • Cost: ISTA testing is typically less costly than ASTM.  
  • Equipment: ASTM requires newer, more high-end equipment.
  • Time: ISTA is generally more time-efficient than ASTM.
For testing package systems, the primary benefit of ASTM is its flexibility. This allows stakeholders to customize testing methods to best suit their sample and its transit/distribution journey. Conversely, ISTA’s stringent parameters help generate highly precise results, which makes it a popular choice among medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. Westpak testing services feature both ASTM and ISTA options. For more information on how these test standards may benefit your business, contact us today. 


Testing at Westpak has been accredited by A2LA to comply with ISO 17025.

Westpak testing labs are ISTA certified to perform a variety of tests.


If you have any questions or are not sure where to start, our Westpak experts are here to help!

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