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Title 49 Part 178 → Subpart M

Title 49 → Subtitle B → Chapter I → Subchapter C → Part 178 → Subpart M

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 49 Part 178 → Subpart M

e-CFR data is current as of December 11, 2019

Title 49Subtitle BChapter ISubchapter CPart 178 → Subpart M


Title 49: Transportation
PART 178—SPECIFICATIONS FOR PACKAGINGS


§178.600   Purpose and scope.

This subpart prescribes certain testing requirements for performance-oriented packagings identified in subpart L of this part.

[Amdt. 178-97, 55 FR 52717, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended by Amdt. 178-99, 58 FR 51534, Oct. 1, 1993]

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§178.601   General requirements.

(a) General. The test procedures prescribed in this subpart are intended to ensure that packages containing hazardous materials can withstand normal conditions of transportation and are considered minimum requirements. Each packaging must be manufactured and assembled so as to be capable of successfully passing the prescribed tests and of conforming to the requirements of §173.24 of this subchapter at all times while in transportation.

(b) Responsibility. It is the responsibility of the packaging manufacturer to assure that each package is capable of passing the prescribed tests. To the extent that a package assembly function, including final closure, is performed by the person who offers a hazardous material for transportation, that person is responsible for performing the function in accordance with §§173.22 and 178.2 of this subchapter.

(c) Definitions. For the purpose of this subpart:

(1) Design qualification testing is the performance of the tests prescribed in §178.603, §178.604, §178.605, §178.606, §178.607, §178.608, or §178.609, as applicable, for each new or different packaging, at the start of production of that packaging.

(2) Periodic retesting is the performance of the drop, leakproofness, hydrostatic pressure, and stacking tests, as applicable, as prescribed in §178.603, §178.604, §178.605, or §178.606, respectively, at the frequency specified in paragraph (e) of this section. For infectious substances packagings required to meet the requirements of §178.609, periodic retesting is the performance of the tests specified in §178.609 at the frequency specified in paragraph (e) of this section.

(3) Production testing is the performance of the leakproofness test prescribed in §178.604 of this subpart on each single or composite packaging intended to contain a liquid.

(4) A different packaging is one that differs (i.e., is not identical) from a previously produced packaging in structural design, size, material of construction, wall thickness or manner of construction but does not include:

(i) A packaging which differs only in surface treatment;

(ii) A combination packaging which differs only in that the outer packaging has been successfully tested with different inner packagings. A variety of such inner packagings may be assembled in this outer packaging without further testing;

(iii) A plastic packaging which differs only with regard to additives which conform to §178.509(b)(3) or §178.517(b) (4) or (5) of this part;

(iv) A combination packaging with inner packagings conforming to the provisions of paragraph (g) of this section;

(v) Packagings which differ from the design type only in their lesser design height; or

(vi) For a steel drum, variations in design elements which do not constitute a different design type under the provisions of paragraph (g)(8) of this section.

(d) Design qualification testing. The packaging manufacturer shall achieve successful test results for the design qualification testing at the start of production of each new or different packaging.

(e) Periodic retesting. The packaging manufacturer must achieve successful test results for the periodic retesting at intervals established by the manufacturer of sufficient frequency to ensure that each packaging produced by the manufacturer is capable of passing the design qualification tests. Changes in retest frequency are subject to the approval of the Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety. For single or composite packagings, the periodic retests must be conducted at least once every 12 months. For combination packagings, the periodic retests must be conducted at least once every 24 months. For infectious substances packagings, the periodic retests must be conducted at least once every 24 months.

(f) Test samples. The manufacturer shall conduct the design qualification and periodic tests prescribed in this subpart using random samples of packagings, in the numbers specified in the appropriate test section. In addition, the leakproofness test, when required, shall be performed on each packaging produced by the manufacturer, and each packaging prior to reuse under §173.28 of this subchapter, by the reconditioner.

(g) Selective testing. The selective testing of packagings that differ only in minor respects from a tested type is permitted as described in this section. For air transport, packagings must comply with §173.27(c)(1) and (c)(2) of this subchapter.

(1) Selective testing of combination packagings. Variation 1. Variations are permitted in inner packagings of a tested combination package, without further testing of the package, provided an equivalent level of performance is maintained and, when a package is altered under Variation 1 after October 1, 2010, the methodology used to determine that the inner packaging, including closure, maintains an equivalent level of performance is documented in writing by the person certifying compliance with this paragraph and retained in accordance with paragraph (l) of this section. Permitted variations are as follows:

(i) Inner packagings of equivalent or smaller size may be used provided—

(A) The inner packagings are of similar design to the tested inner packagings (i.e., shape—round, rectangular, etc.);

(B) The material of construction of the inner packagings (glass, plastic, metal, etc.) offers resistance to impact and stacking forces equal to or greater than that of the originally tested inner packaging;

(C) The inner packagings have the same or smaller openings and the closure is of similar design (e.g., screw cap, friction lid, etc.);

(D) Sufficient additional cushioning material is used to take up void spaces and to prevent significant moving of the inner packagings;

(E) Inner packagings are oriented within the outer packaging in the same manner as in the tested package; and,

(F) The gross mass of the package does not exceed that originally tested.

(ii) A lesser number of the tested inner packagings, or of the alternative types of inner packagings identified in paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this section, may be used provided sufficient cushioning is added to fill void space(s) and to prevent significant moving of the inner packagings.

(2) Selective testing of combination packagings. Variation 2. Articles or inner packagings of any type, for solids or liquids, may be assembled and transported without testing in an outer packaging under the following conditions:

(i) The outer packaging must have been successfully tested in accordance with §178.603 with fragile (e.g. glass) inner packagings containing liquids at the Packing Group I drop height;

(ii) The total combined gross mass of inner packagings may not exceed one-half the gross mass of inner packagings used for the drop test;

(iii) The thickness of cushioning material between inner packagings and between inner packagings and the outside of the packaging may not be reduced below the corresponding thickness in the originally tested packaging; and when a single inner packaging was used in the original test, the thickness of cushioning between inner packagings may not be less than the thickness of cushioning between the outside of the packaging and the inner packaging in the original test. When either fewer or smaller inner packagings are used (as compared to the inner packagings used in the drop test), sufficient additional cushioning material must be used to take up void spaces.

(iv) The outer packaging must have successfully passed the stacking test set forth in §178.606 of this subpart when empty, i.e., without either inner packagings or cushioning materials. The total mass of identical packages must be based on the combined mass of inner packagings used for the drop test;

(v) Inner packagings containing liquids must be completely surrounded with a sufficient quantity of absorbent material to absorb the entire liquid contents of the inner packagings;

(vi) When the outer packaging is intended to contain inner packagings for liquids and is not leakproof, or is intended to contain inner packagings for solids and is not siftproof, a means of containing any liquid or solid contents in the event of leakage must be provided in the form of a leakproof liner, plastic bag, or other equally efficient means of containment. For packagings containing liquids, the absorbent material required in paragraph (g)(2)(v) of this section must be placed inside the means of containing liquid contents; and

(vii) Packagings must be marked in accordance with §178.503 of this part as having been tested to Packing Group I performance for combination packagings. The marked maximum gross mass may not exceed the sum of the mass of the outer packaging plus one half the mass of the filled inner packagings of the tested combination packaging. In addition, the marking required by §178.503(a)(2) of this part must include the letter “V”.

(3) Variation 3. Packagings other than combination packagings which are produced with reductions in external dimensions (i.e., length, width or diameter) of up to 25 percent of the dimensions of a tested packaging may be used without further testing provided an equivalent level of performance is maintained. The packagings must, in all other respects (including wall thicknesses), be identical to the tested design-type. The marked gross mass (when required) must be reduced in proportion to the reduction in volume.

(4) Variation 4. Variations are permitted in outer packagings of a tested design-type combination packaging, without further testing, provided an equivalent level of performance is maintained, as follows:

(i) Each external dimension (length, width and height) is less than or equal to the corresponding dimension of the tested design-type;

(ii) The structural design of the tested outer packaging (i.e., methods of construction, materials of construction, strength characteristics of materials of construction, method of closure and material thicknesses) is maintained;

(iii) The inner packagings are identical to the inner packagings used in the tested design type except that their size and mass may be less; and they are oriented within the outer packaging in the same manner as in the tested packaging;

(iv) The same type or design of absorbent materials, cushioning materials and any other components necessary to contain and protect inner packagings, as used in the tested design type, are maintained. The thickness of cushioning material between inner packagings and between inner packagings and the outside of the packaging may not be less than the thicknesses in the tested design type packaging; and

(v) Sufficient additional cushioning material is used to take up void spaces and to prevent significant moving of the inner packagings.

An outer packaging qualifying for use in transport in accordance with all of the above conditions may also be used without testing to transport inner packagings substituted for the originally tested inner packagings in accordance with the conditions set out in Variation 1 in paragraph (g)(1) of this section.

(5) Variation 5. Single packagings (i.e., non-bulk packagings other than combination packagings), that differ from a tested design type only to the extent that the closure device or gasketing differs from that used in the originally tested design type, may be used without further testing, provided an equivalent level of performance is maintained, subject to the following conditions (the qualifying tests):

(i) A packaging with the replacement closure devices or gasketing must successfully pass the drop test specified in §178.603 in the orientation which most severely tests the integrity of the closure or gasket;

(ii) When intended to contain liquids, a packaging with the replacement closure devices or gasketing must successfully pass the leakproofness test specified in §178.604, the hydrostatic pressure test specified in §178.605, and the stacking test specified in §178.606.

Replacement closures and gasketings qualified under the above test requirements are authorized without additional testing for packagings described in paragraph (g)(3) of this section. Replacement closures and gasketings qualified under the above test requirements also are authorized without additional testing for different tested design types packagings of the same type as the originally tested packaging, provided the original design type tests are more severe or comparable to tests which would otherwise be conducted on the packaging with the replacement closures or gasketings. (For example: The packaging used in the qualifying tests has a lesser packaging wall thickness than the packaging with replacement closure devices or gasketing; the gross mass of the packaging used in the qualifying drop test equals or exceeds the mass for which the packaging with replacement closure devices or gasketing was tested; the packaging used in the qualifying drop test was dropped from the same or greater height than the height from which the packaging with replacement closure devices or gasketing was dropped in design type tests; and the specific gravity of the substance used in the qualifying drop test was the same or greater than the specific gravity of the liquid used in the design type tests of the packaging with replacement closure devices or gasketing.)

(6) The provisions in Variations 1, 2, and 4 in paragraphs (g)(1), (2) and (4) of this section for combination packagings may be applied to packagings containing articles, where the provisions for inner packagings are applied analogously to the articles. In this case, inner packagings need not comply with §173.27(c)(1) and (c)(2) of this subchapter.

(7) Approval of selective testing. In addition to the provisions of §178.601(g)(1) through (g)(6) of this subpart, the Associate Administrator may approve the selective testing of packagings that differ only in minor respects from a tested type.

(8) For a steel drum with a capacity greater than 12 L (3 gallons) manufactured from low carbon, cold-rolled sheet steel meeting ASTM designations A 366/A 366M or A 568/A 568M, variations in elements other than the following design elements are considered minor and do not constitute a different drum design type, or “different packaging” as defined in paragraph (c) of this section for which design qualification testing and periodic retesting are required. Minor variations authorized without further testing include changes in the identity of the supplier of component material made to the same specifications, or the original manufacturer of a DOT specification or UN standard drum to be remanufactured. A change in any one or more of the following design elements constitutes a different drum design type:

(i) The packaging type and category of the original drum and the remanufactured drum, i.e., 1A1 or 1A2;

(ii) The style, (i.e., straight-sided or tapered);

(iii) Except as provided in paragraph (g)(3) of this section, the rated (marked) capacity and outside dimensions;

(iv) The physical state for which the packaging was originally approved (e.g., tested for solids or liquids);

(v) An increase in the marked level of performance of the original drum (i.e., to a higher packing group, hydrostatic test pressure, or specific gravity to which the packaging has been tested);

(vi) Type of side seam welding;

(vii) Type of steel;

(viii) An increase greater than 10% or any decrease in the steel thickness of the head, body, or bottom;

(ix) End seam type, (e.g., triple or double seam);

(x) A reduction in the number of rolling hoops (beads) which equal or exceed the diameter over the chimes;

(xi) The location, type or size, and material of closures (other than the cover of UN 1A2 drums);

(xii) The location (e.g., from the head to the body), type (e.g., mechanically seamed or welded flange), and materials of closure (other than the cover of UN 1A2 drums); and

(xiii) For UN 1A2 drums:

(A) Gasket material (e.g., plastic), or properties affecting the performance of the gasket;

(B) Configuration or dimensions of the gasket;

(C) Closure ring style including bolt size (e.g., square or round back, 0.625 inches bolt); and

(D) Closure ring thickness,

(E) Width of lugs or extensions in crimp/lug cover.

(h) Approval of equivalent packagings. A packaging having specifications different from those in §§178.504-178.523 of this part, or which is tested using methods or test intervals, other than those specified in subpart M of this part, may be used if approved by the Associate Administrator. Such packagings must be shown to be equally effective, and testing methods used must be equivalent.

(i) Proof of compliance. Notwithstanding the periodic retest intervals specified in paragraph (e) of this section, the Associate Administrator may at any time require demonstration of compliance by a manufacturer, through testing in accordance with this subpart, that packagings meet the requirements of this subpart. As required by the Associate Administrator, the manufacturer shall either—

(1) Conduct performance tests, or have tests conducted by an independent testing facility, in accordance with this subpart; or

(2) Supply packagings, in quantities sufficient to conduct tests in accordance with this subpart, to the Associate Administrator or a designated representative of the Associate Administrator.

(j) Coatings. If an inner treatment or coating of a packaging is required for safety reasons, the manufacturer shall design the packaging so that the treatment or coating retains its protective properties even after withstanding the tests prescribed by this subpart.

(k) Number of test samples. Except as provided in this section, one test sample must be used for each test performed under this subpart.

(1) Stainless steel drums. Provided the validity of the test results is not affected, a person may perform the design qualification testing of stainless steel drums using three (3) samples rather than the specified eighteen (18) samples under the following provisions:

(i) The packaging must be tested in accordance with this subpart by subjecting each of the three containers to the following sequence of tests:

(A) The stacking test in §178.606,

(B) The leakproofness test in §178.604,

(C) The hydrostatic pressure test in §178.608, and

(D) Diagonal top chime and flat on the side drop tests in §178.603. Both drop tests may be conducted on the same sample.

(ii) For periodic retesting of stainless steel drums, a reduced sample size of one container is authorized.

(2) Packagings other than stainless steel drums. Provided the validity of the test results is not affected, several tests may be performed on one sample with the approval of the Associate Administrator.

(l) Record retention. Following each design qualification test and each periodic retest on a packaging, a test report must be prepared.

(1) The test report must be maintained at each location where the packaging is manufactured, certified, and a design qualification test or periodic retest is conducted as follows:

Responsible partyDuration
Person manufacturing the packagingAs long as manufactured and two years thereafter.
Person performing design testingDesign test maintained for a single or composite packaging for six years after the test is successfully performed and for a combination packaging or packaging intended for infectious substances for seven years after the test is successfully performed.
Person performing periodic retestingPerformance test maintained for a single or composite packaging for one year after the test is successfully performed and for a combination packaging or packaging intended for infectious substances for two years after the test is successfully performed.

(2) The test report must be made available to a user of a packaging or a representative of the Department upon request. The test report, at a minimum, must contain the following information:

(i) Name and address of test facility;

(ii) Name and address of applicant (where appropriate);

(iii) A unique test report identification;

(iv) Date of the test report;

(v) Manufacturer of the packaging;

(vi) Description of the packaging design type (e.g., dimensions, materials, closures, thickness, etc.), including methods of manufacture (e.g., blow molding) and which may include drawing(s) and/or photograph(s);

(vii) Maximum capacity;

(viii) Characteristics of test contents, e.g., viscosity and relative density for liquids and particle size for solids;

(ix) Test descriptions and results; and

(x) Signed with the name and title of signatory.

[Amdt. 178-97, 55 FR 52723, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66285, Dec. 20, 1991; 57 FR 45465, Oct. 1, 1992; Amdt. 178-102, 59 FR 28494, June 2, 1994; Amdt. 178-106, 59 FR 67521, 67522, Dec. 29, 1994; Amdt. 178-117, 61 FR 50628, Sept. 26, 1996; 66 FR 45386, Aug. 28, 2001; 67 FR 53143, Aug. 14, 2002; 68 FR 75758, Dec. 31, 2003; 68 FR 61942, Oct. 30, 2003; 75 FR 5396, Feb. 2, 2010; 75 FR 60339, Sept. 30, 2010; 77 FR 60944, Oct. 5, 2012; 78 FR 1118, Jan. 7, 2013; 78 FR 14715, Mar. 7, 2013; 78 FR 65487, Oct. 31, 2013]

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§178.602   Preparation of packagings and packages for testing.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, each packaging and package must be closed in preparation for testing and tests must be carried out in the same manner as if prepared for transportation, including inner packagings in the case of combination packagings.

(b) For the drop and stacking test, inner and single-unit receptacles other than bags must be filled to not less than 95% of maximum capacity (see §171.8 of this subchapter) in the case of solids and not less than 98% of maximum in the case of liquids. Bags containing solids shall be filled to the maximum mass at which they may be used. The material to be transported in the packagings may be replaced by a non-hazardous material, except for chemical compatibility testing or where this would invalidate the results of the tests.

(c) If the material to be transported is replaced for test purposes by a non-hazardous material, the material used must be of the same or higher specific gravity as the material to be carried, and its other physical properties (grain, size, viscosity) which might influence the results of the required tests must correspond as closely as possible to those of the hazardous material to be transported. Water may also be used for the liquid drop test under the conditions specified in §178.603(e) of this subpart. It is permissible to use additives, such as bags of lead shot, to achieve the requisite total package mass, so long as they are placed so that the test results are not affected.

(d) Paper or fiberboard packagings must be conditioned for at least 24 hours immediately prior to testing in an atmosphere maintained—

(1) At 50 percent ±2 percent relative humidity, and at a temperature of 23 °C±2 °C (73 °F±4 °F). Average values should fall within these limits. Short-term fluctuations and measurement limitations may cause individual measurements to vary by up to ±5 percent relative humidity without significant impairment of test reproducibility;

(2) At 65 percent ±2 percent relative humidity, and at a temperature of 20 °C±2 °C (68 °F±4 °F), or 27 °C±2 °C (81 °F±4 °F). Average values should fall within these limits. Short-term fluctuations and measurement limitations may cause individual measurements to vary by up to ±5 percent relative humidity without significant impairment of test reproducibility; or

(3) For testing at periodic intervals only (i.e., other than initial design qualification testing), at ambient conditions.

(e) Except as otherwise provided, each packaging must be closed in preparation for testing in the same manner as if prepared for actual shipment. All closures must be installed using proper techniques and torques.

(f) Bung-type barrels made of natural wood must be left filled with water for at least 24 hours before the tests.

[Amdt. 178-97, 55 FR 52723, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66286, Dec. 20, 1991; Amdt. 178-106, 59 FR 67522, Dec. 29, 1994; 69 FR 76186, Dec. 20, 2004; 71 FR 78635, Dec. 29, 2006]

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§178.603   Drop test.

(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:

PackagingNo. 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 drumSix—(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 boxFive—(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 seamThree—(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-plyThree—(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.

[Amdt. 178-97, 55 FR 52723, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66286, Dec. 20, 1991; 57 FR 45465, Oct. 1, 1992; Amdt. 178-99, 58 FR 51534, Oct. 1, 1993; Amdt. 178-106, 59 FR 67522, Dec. 29, 1994; 65 FR 50462, Aug. 18, 2000; 66 FR 45386, Aug. 28, 2001; 67 FR 61016, Sept. 27, 2002; 69 FR 76186, Dec. 20, 2004; 76 FR 3389, Jan. 19, 2011; 78 FR 1097, Jan. 7, 2013]

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§178.604   Leakproofness test.

(a) General. The leakproofness test must be performed with compressed air or other suitable gases on all packagings intended to contain liquids, except that:

(1) The inner receptacle of a composite packaging may be tested without the outer packaging provided the test results are not affected; and

(2) This test is not required for inner packagings of combination packagings.

(b) Number of packagings to be tested—(1) Production testing. All packagings subject to the provisions of this section must be tested and must pass the leakproofness test:

(i) Before they are first used in transportation; and

(ii) Prior to reuse, when authorized for reuse by §173.28 of this subchapter.

(2) Design qualification and periodic testing. Three samples of each different packaging must be tested and must pass the leakproofness test. Exceptions for the number of samples used in conducting the leakproofness test are subject to the approval of the Associate Administrator.

(c) Special preparation—(1) For design qualification and periodic testing, packagings must be tested with closures in place. For production testing, packagings need not have their closures in place. Removable heads need not be installed during production testing.

(2) For testing with closures in place, vented closures must either be replaced by similar non-vented closures or the vent must be sealed.

(d) Test method. The packaging must be restrained under water while an internal air pressure is applied; the method of restraint must not affect the results of the test. The test must be conducted, for other than production testing, for a minimum time of five minutes. Other methods, at least equally effective, may be used in accordance with appendix B of this part.

(e) Pressure applied. An internal air pressure (gauge) must be applied to the packaging as indicated for the following packing groups:

(1) Packing Group I: Not less than 30 kPa (4 psi).

(2) Packing Group II: Not less than 20 kPa (3 psi).

(3) Packing Group III: Not less than 20 kPa (3 psi).

(f) Criteria for passing the test. A packaging passes the test if there is no leakage of air from the packaging.

[Amdt. 178-97, 55 FR 52723, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66286, Dec. 20, 1991; Amdt. 178-106, 59 FR 67522, Dec. 29, 1994; 66 FR 45386, Aug. 28, 2001]

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§178.605   Hydrostatic pressure test.

(a) General. The hydrostatic pressure test must be conducted for the qualification of all metal, plastic, and composite packaging design types intended to contain liquids and be performed periodically as specified in §178.601(e). This test is not required for inner packagings of combination packagings. For internal pressure requirements for inner packagings of combination packagings intended for transportation by aircraft, see §173.27(c) of this subchapter.

(b) Number of test samples. Three test samples are required for each different packaging. For packagings constructed of stainless steel, monel, or nickel, only one sample is required for periodic retesting of packagings. Exceptions for the number of aluminum and steel sample packagings used in conducting the hydrostatic pressure test are subject to the approval of the Associate Administrator.

(c) Special preparation of receptacles for testings. Vented closures must either be replaced by similar non-vented closures or the vent must be sealed.

(d) Test method and pressure to be applied. Metal packagings and composite packagings other than plastic (e.g., glass, porcelain or stoneware), including their closures, must be subjected to the test pressure for 5 minutes. Plastic packagings and composite packagings (plastic material), including their closures, must be subjected to the test pressure for 30 minutes. This pressure is the one to be marked as required in §178.503(a)(5). The receptacles must be supported in a manner that does not invalidate the test. The test pressure must be applied continuously and evenly, and it must be kept constant throughout the test period. In addition, packagings intended to contain hazardous materials of Packing Group I must be tested to a minimum test pressure of 250 kPa (36 psig). The hydraulic pressure (gauge) applied, taken at the top of the receptacle, and determined by any one of the following methods must be:

(1) Not less than the total gauge pressure measured in the packaging (i.e., the vapor pressure of the filling material and the partial pressure of the air or other inert gas minus 100 kPa (15 psi)) at 55 °C (131 °F), multiplied by a safety factor of 1.5. This total gauge pressure must be determined on the basis of a maximum degree of filling in accordance with §173.24a(d) of this subchapter and a filling temperature of 15 °C (59 °F);

(2) Not less than 1.75 times the vapor pressure at 50 °C (122 °F) of the material to be transported minus 100 kPa (15 psi), but with a minimum test pressure of 100 kPa (15 psig); or

(3) Not less than 1.5 times the vapor pressure at 55 °C (131 °F) of the material to be transported minus 100 kPa (15 psi), but with a minimum test pressure of 100 kPa (15 psig).

Packagings intended to contain hazardous materials of Packing Group I must be tested to a minimum test pressure of 250 kPa (36 psig).

(e) Criteria for passing the test. A package passes the hydrostatic test if, for each test sample, there is no leakage of liquid from the package.

[Amdt. 178-97, 55 FR 52723, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66286, Dec. 20, 1991; Amdt. 178-99, 58 FR 51534, Oct. 1, 1993; Amdt. 178-102, 59 FR 28494, June 2, 1994; 65 FR 50462, Aug. 18, 2000; 66 FR 45386, 45390, Aug. 28, 2001; 73 FR 57007, Oct. 1, 2008; 78 FR 60755, Oct. 2, 2013]

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§178.606   Stacking test.

(a) General. All packaging design types other than bags must be subjected to a stacking test.

(b) Number of test samples. Three test samples are required for each different packaging. For periodic retesting of packagings constructed of stainless steel, monel, or nickel, only one test sample is required. Exceptions for the number of aluminum and steel sample packagings used in conducting the stacking test are subject to the approval of the Associate Administrator. Notwithstanding the provisions of §178.602(a) of this subpart, combination packagings may be subjected to the stacking test without their inner packagings, except where this would invalidate the results of the test.

(c) Test method—(1) Design qualification testing. The test sample must be subjected to a force applied to the top surface of the test sample equivalent to the total weight of identical packages which might be stacked on it during transport; where the contents of the test sample are non-hazardous liquids with specific gravities different from that of the liquid to be transported, the force must be calculated based on the specific gravity that will be marked on the packaging. The minimum height of the stack, including the test sample, must be 3.0 m (10 feet). The duration of the test must be 24 hours, except that plastic drums, jerricans, and composite packagings 6HH intended for liquids shall be subjected to the stacking test for a period of 28 days at a temperature of not less than 40 °C (104 °F). Alternative test methods which yield equivalent results may be used if approved by the Associate Administrator. In guided load tests, stacking stability must be assessed after completion of the test by placing two filled packagings of the same type on the test sample. The stacked packages must maintain their position for one hour. Plastic packagings must be cooled to ambient temperature before this stacking stability assessment.

(2) Periodic retesting. The test sample must be tested in accordance with:

(i) Section 178.606(c)(1) of this subpart; or

(ii) The packaging may be tested using a dynamic compression testing machine. The test must be conducted at room temperature on an empty, unsealed packaging. The test sample must be centered on the bottom platen of the testing machine. The top platen must be lowered until it comes in contact with the test sample. Compression must be applied end to end. The speed of the compression tester must be one-half inch plus or minus one-fourth inch per minute. An initial preload of 50 pounds must be applied to ensure a definite contact between the test sample and the platens. The distance between the platens at this time must be recorded as zero deformation. The force A to then be applied must be calculated using the formula:

Liquids: A = (n−1) [w + (s × v × 8.3 × .98)] × 1.5;

Solids: A = (n−1) (m × 2.2 × 1.5)

Where:

A = applied load in pounds

m = the certified maximum gross mass for the container in kilograms.

n = minimum number of containers that, when stacked, reach a height of 3 meters.

s = specific gravity of lading.

w = maximum weight of one empty container in pounds.

v = actual capacity of container (rated capacity + outage) in gallons.

And:

8.3 corresponds to the weight in pounds of 1.0 gallon of water.

.98 corresponds to the minimum filling percentage of the maximum capacity for liquids.

1.5 is a compensation factor that converts the static load of the stacking test into a load suitable for dynamic compression testing.

2.2 is the conversion factor for kilograms to pounds.

(d) Criteria for passing the test. No test sample may leak. In composite packagings or combination packagings, there must be no leakage of the filling substance from the inner receptacle, or inner packaging. No test sample may show any deterioration which could adversely affect transportation safety or any distortion likely to reduce its strength, cause instability in stacks of packages, or cause damage to inner packagings likely to reduce safety in transportation. For the dynamic compression test, a container passes the test if, after application of the required load, there is no buckling of the sidewalls sufficient to cause damage to its expected contents; in no case may the maximum deflection exceed one inch.

[Amdt. 178-97, 55 FR 52723, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66286, Dec. 20, 1991; 57 FR 45465, Oct. 1, 1992; Amdt. 178-102, 59 FR 28494, June 2, 1994; Amdt. 178-106, 59 FR 67522, Dec. 29, 1994; 65 FR 58632, Sept. 29, 2000; 66 FR 45386, Aug. 28, 2001; 70 FR 34076, June 13, 2005; 72 FR 55696, Oct. 1, 2007]

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§178.607   Cooperage test for bung-type wooden barrels.

(a) Number of samples. One barrel is required for each different packaging.

(b) Method of testing. Remove all hoops above the bilge of an empty barrel at least two days old.

(c) Criteria for passing the test. A packaging passes the cooperage test only if the diameter of the cross-section of the upper part of the barrel does not increase by more than 10 percent.

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§178.608   Vibration standard.

(a) Each packaging must be capable of withstanding, without rupture or leakage, the vibration test procedure outlined in this section.

(b) Test method. (1) Three sample packagings, selected at random, must be filled and closed as for shipment.

(2) The three samples must be placed on a vibrating platform that has a vertical or rotary double-amplitude (peak-to-peak displacement) of one inch. The packages should be constrained horizontally to prevent them from falling off the platform, but must be left free to move vertically, bounce and rotate.

(3) The test must be performed for one hour at a frequency that causes the package to be raised from the vibrating platform to such a degree that a piece of material of approximately 1.6 mm (0.063 inch) thickness (such as steel strapping or paperboard) can be passed between the bottom of any package and the platform.

(4) Immediately following the period of vibration, each package must be removed from the platform, turned on its side and observed for any evidence of leakage.

(5) Other methods, at least equally effective, may be used, if approved by the Associate Administrator.

(c) Criteria for passing the test. A packaging passes the vibration test if there is no rupture or leakage from any of the packages. No test sample should show any deterioration which could adversely affect transportation safety or any distortion liable to reduce packaging strength.

[Amdt. 178-97, 55 FR 52723, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66286, Dec. 20, 1991; 66 FR 45386, Aug. 28, 2001]

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§178.609   Test requirements for packagings for infectious substances.

(a) Samples of each packaging must be prepared for testing as described in paragraph (b) of this section and then subjected to the tests in paragraphs (d) through (i) of this section.

(b) Samples of each packaging must be prepared as for transport except that a liquid or solid infectious substance should be replaced by water or, where conditioning at −18 °C (0 °F) is specified, by water/antifreeze. Each primary receptacle must be filled to 98 percent capacity. Packagings for live animals should be tested with the live animal being replaced by an appropriate dummy of similar mass.

(c) Packagings prepared as for transport must be subjected to the tests in Table I of this paragraph (c), which, for test purposes, categorizes packagings according to their material characteristics. For outer packagings, the headings in Table I relate to fiberboard or similar materials whose performance may be rapidly affected by moisture; plastics that may embrittle at low temperature; and other materials, such as metal, for which performance is not significantly affected by moisture or temperature. Where a primary receptacle and a secondary packaging of an inner packaging are made of different materials, the material of the primary receptacle determines the appropriate test. In instances where a primary receptacle is made of more than one material, the material most likely to be damaged determines the appropriate test.

Table I—Tests Required

Material ofTests required
Outer packagingInner packagingRefer to para. (d)Refer to para. (h)
FiberboardPlasticsOtherPlasticsOther(d)(e)(f)(g)
X      X      XXWhen dry ice is usedX
X         X   X      X
   X   X         X   X
   X      X      X   X
      XX         X   X
      X   XX         X

(d) Samples must be subjected to free-fall drops onto a rigid, nonresilient, flat, horizontal surface from a height of 9 m (30 feet).

The drops must be performed as follows:

(1) Where the samples are in the shape of a box, five samples must be dropped, one in each of the following orientation:

(i) Flat on the base;

(ii) Flat on the top;

(iii) Flat on the longest side;

(iv) Flat on the shortest side; and

(v) On a corner.

(2) Where the samples are in the shape of a drum, three samples must be dropped, one in each of the following orientations:

(i) Diagonally on the top chime, with the center of gravity directly above the point of impact;

(ii) Diagonally on the base chime; and

(iii) Flat on the side.

(3) While the sample should be released in the required orientation, it is accepted that for aerodynamic reasons the impact may not take place in that orientation.

(4) Following the appropriate drop sequence, there must be no leakage from the primary receptacle(s) which should remain protected by absorbent material in the secondary packaging.

(e) The samples must be subjected to a water spray to simulate exposure to rainfall of approximately 50 mm (2 inches) per hour for at least one hour. They must then be subjected to the test described in paragraph (d) of this section.

(f) The sample must be conditioned in an atmosphere of −18 °C (0 °F) or less for a period of at least 24 hours and within 15 minutes of removal from that atmosphere be subjected to the test described in paragraph (d) of this section. Where the sample contains dry ice, the conditioning period may be reduced to 4 hours.

(g) Where packaging is intended to contain dry ice, a test additional to that specified in paragraph (d) or (e) or (f) of this section must be carried out. One sample must be stored so that all the dry ice dissipates and then be subjected to the test described in paragraph (d) of this section.

(h) Packagings with a gross mass of 7 kg (15 pounds) or less should be subjected to the tests described in paragraph (h)(1) of this section and packagings with a gross mass exceeding 7 kg (15 pounds) to the tests in paragraph (h)(2) of this section.

(1) Samples must be placed on a level, hard surface. A cylindrical steel rod with a mass of at least 7 kg (15 pounds), a diameter not exceeding 38 mm (1.5 inches), and, at the impact end edges, a radius not exceeding 6 mm (0.2 inches), must be dropped in a vertical free fall from a height of 1 m (3 feet), measured from the impact end of the sample's impact surface. One sample must be placed on its base. A second sample must be placed in an orientation perpendicular to that used for the first. In each instance, the steel rod must be aimed to impact the primary receptacle(s). For a successful test, there must be no leakage from the primary receptacle(s) following each impact.

(2) Samples must be dropped onto the end of a cylindrical steel rod. The rod must be set vertically in a level, hard surface. It must have a diameter of 38 mm (1.5 inches) and a radius not exceeding 6 mm (0.2 inches) at the edges of the upper end. The rod must protrude from the surface a distance at least equal to that between the primary receptacle(s) and the outer surface of the outer packaging with a minimum of 200 mm (7.9 inches). One sample must be dropped in a vertical free fall from a height of 1 m (3 feet), measured from the top of the steel rod. A second sample must be dropped from the same height in an orientation perpendicular to that used for the first. In each instance, the packaging must be oriented so the steel rod will impact the primary receptacle(s). For a successful test, there must be no leakage from the primary receptacle(s) following each impact.

(i) Variations. The following variations in the primary receptacles placed within the secondary packaging are allowed without additional testing of the completed package. An equivalent level of performance must be maintained.

(1) Variation 1. Primary receptacles of equivalent or smaller size as compared to the tested primary receptacles may be used provided they meet all of the following conditions:

(i) The primary receptacles are of similar design to the tested primary receptacle (e.g., shape: round, rectangular, etc.).

(ii) The material of construction of the primary receptacle (glass, plastics, metal, etc.) offers resistance to impact and a stacking force equal to or greater than that of the originally tested primary receptacle.

(iii) The primary receptacles have the same or smaller openings and the closure is of similar design (e.g., screw cap, friction lid, etc.).

(iv) Sufficient additional cushioning material is used to fill void spaces and to prevent significant movement of the primary receptacles.

(v) Primary receptacles are oriented within the intermediate packaging in the same manner as in the tested package.

(2) Variation 2. A lesser number of the tested primary receptacles, or of the alternative types of primary receptacles identified in paragraph (i)(1) of this section, may be used provided sufficient cushioning is added to fill the void space(s) and to prevent significant movement of the primary receptacles.

(3) Variation 3. Primary receptacles of any type may be placed within a secondary packaging and shipped without testing in the outer packaging provided all of the following conditions are met:

(i) The secondary and outer packaging combination must be successfully tested in accordance with paragraphs (a) through (h) of this section with fragile (e.g., glass) inner receptacles.

(ii) The total combined gross weight of inner receptacles may not exceed one-half the gross weight of inner receptacles used for the drop test in paragraph (d) of this section.

(iii) The thickness of cushioning material between inner receptacles and between inner receptacles and the outside of the secondary packaging may not be reduced below the corresponding thicknesses in the originally tested packaging. If a single inner receptacle was used in the original test, the thickness of cushioning between the inner receptacles must be no less than the thickness of cushioning between the outside of the secondary packaging and the inner receptacle in the original test. When either fewer or smaller inner receptacles are used (as compared to the inner receptacles used in the drop test), sufficient additional cushioning material must be used to fill the void.

(iv) The outer packaging must pass the stacking test in §178.606 while empty. The total weight of identical packages must be based on the combined mass of inner receptacles used in the drop test in paragraph (d) of this section.

(v) For inner receptacles containing liquids, an adequate quantity of absorbent material must be present to absorb the entire liquid contents of the inner receptacles.

(vi) If the outer packaging is intended to contain inner receptacles for liquids and is not leakproof, or is intended to contain inner receptacles for solids and is not sift proof, a means of containing any liquid or solid contents in the event of leakage must be provided. This can be a leakproof liner, plastic bag, or other equally effective means of containment.

(vii) In addition, the marking required in §178.503(f) of this subchapter must be followed by the letter “U”.

[Amdt. 178-97, 55 FR 52723, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended by Amdt. 178-111, 60 FR 48787, Sept. 20, 1995; 67 FR 53143, Aug. 14, 2002; 69 FR 54046, Sept. 7, 2004]

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