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Title 49 Part 178 → Subpart Q

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

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 49 Part 178 → Subpart Q

e-CFR data is current as of January 22, 2020

Title 49Subtitle BChapter ISubchapter CPart 178 → Subpart Q


Title 49: Transportation
PART 178—SPECIFICATIONS FOR PACKAGINGS


Subpart Q—Testing of Large Packagings

§178.950   Purpose and scope.

This subpart prescribes certain testing requirements for Large Packagings identified in subpart P of this part.

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§178.955   General requirements.

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

(b) Responsibility. The Large Packaging manufacturer is responsible for ensuring each Large Packaging is capable of passing the prescribed tests. To the extent a Large Packaging's 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) Large packaging design type refers to a Large Packaging which does not differ in structural design, size, material of construction and packing.

(2) Design qualification testing is the performance of the drop, stacking, and bottom-lift or top-lift tests, as applicable, prescribed in this subpart, for each different Large Packaging design type, at the start of production of that packaging.

(3) Periodic design requalification test is the performance of the applicable tests specified in paragraph (c)(2) of this section on a Large Packaging design type, to requalify the design for continued production at the frequency specified in paragraph (e) of this section.

(4) Production inspection is the inspection, which must initially be conducted on each newly manufactured Large Packaging.

(5) Different Large Packaging design type is one which differs from a previously qualified Large Packaging design type in structural design, size, material of construction, wall thickness, or manner of construction, but does not include:

(i) A packaging which differs in surface treatment;

(ii) A rigid plastic Large Packaging, which differs with regard to additives used to comply with §178.925(b) or §178.940(b);

(iii) A packaging which differs only in its lesser external dimensions (i.e., height, width, length) provided materials of construction and material thickness or fabric weight remain the same;

(6) Remanufactured Large Packaging is a metal or rigid Large Packaging that is produced as a UN type from a non-UN type or is converted from one UN design type to another UN design type. Remanufactured Large Packagings are subject to the same requirements of this subchapter that apply to new Large Packagings of the same type.

(7) Reused Large Packaging is a Large Packaging intended to be refilled and has been examined and found free of defects affecting its ability to withstand the performance tests. See also §173.36(c) of this subchapter.

(d) Design qualification testing. The packaging manufacturer must achieve successful test results for the design qualification testing at the start of production of each new or different Large Packaging design type. Application of the certification mark by the manufacturer constitutes certification that the Large Packaging design type passed the prescribed tests in this subpart.

(e) Periodic design requalification testing. (1) Periodic design requalification must be conducted on each qualified Large Packaging design type if the manufacturer is to maintain authorization for continued production. The Large Packaging manufacturer must achieve successful test results for the periodic design requalification at sufficient frequency to ensure each packaging produced by the manufacturer is capable of passing the design qualification tests. Design requalification tests must be conducted at least once every 24 months.

(2) Changes in the frequency of design requalification testing specified in paragraph (e)(1) of this section are authorized if approved by the Associate Administrator.

(f) Test samples. The manufacturer must 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.

(g) Selective testing. The selective testing of Large Packagings, which differ only in minor respects from a tested type is permitted as described in this section. For air transport, Large Packagings must comply with §173.27(c)(1) and (c)(2) of this subchapter. Variations are permitted in inner packagings of a tested Large Packaging, without further testing of the package, provided an equivalent level of performance is maintained and 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:

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

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

(ii) 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;

(iii) The inner packagings 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 take up void spaces and to prevent significant movement of the inner packagings;

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

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

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

(h) Approval of equivalent packagings. A Large Packaging differing from standards in subpart P of this part, or tested using methods other than those specified in this subpart, may be used if approved by the Associate Administrator. The Large Packagings and testing methods must be shown to have an equivalent level of safety.

(i) Proof of compliance. In addition to the periodic design requalification testing intervals specified in paragraph (e) of this section, the Associate Administrator, or a designated representative, may at any time require demonstration of compliance by a manufacturer, through testing in accordance with this subpart, to ensure packagings meet the requirements of this subpart. As required by the Associate Administrator, or a designated representative, the manufacturer must either:

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

(2) Make a sample Large Packaging available to the Associate Administrator, or a designated representative, for testing in accordance with this subpart.

(j) Record retention. Following each design qualification test and each periodic retest on a Large 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 Large Packaging or a representative of the Department of Transportation 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) Mathematical calculations performed to conduct and document testing (for example, drop height, test capacity, outage requirements, etc.);

(x) Test descriptions and results; and

(xi) Signature with the name and title of signatory.

[75 FR 5400, Feb. 2, 2010, as amended at 75 FR 60339, Sept. 30, 2010; 76 FR 3389, Jan. 19, 2011; 78 FR 14715, Mar. 7, 2013; 78 FR 65487, Oct. 31, 2013; 81 FR 35545, June 2, 2016]

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§178.960   Preparation of Large Packagings for testing.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, each Large 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. All closures must be installed using proper techniques and torques.

(b) For the drop and stacking test, inner receptacles must be filled to not less than 95 percent of maximum capacity (see §171.8 of this subchapter) in the case of solids and not less than 98 percent of maximum in the case of liquids. Bags must be filled to the maximum mass at which they may be used. For Large Packagings where the inner packagings are designed to carry liquids and solids, separate testing is required for both liquid and solid contents. 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. It is permissible to use additives, such as bags of lead shot, to achieve the requisite total package mass, so long as they do not affect the test results.

(d) Paper or fiberboard Large 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.

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§178.965   Drop test.

(a) General. The drop test must be conducted for the qualification of all Large Packaging design types and performed periodically as specified in §178.955(e) of this subpart.

(b) Special preparation for the drop test. Large Packagings must be filled in accordance with §178.960.

(c) Conditioning. Rigid plastic Large Packagings and Large Packagings with plastic inner receptacles must be conditioned for testing by reducing the temperature of the packaging and its contents 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, and may be considered equivalent to water for test purposes. Large Packagings conditioned in this way are not required to be conditioned in accordance with §178.960(d).

(d) Test method. (1) Samples of all Large Packaging design types must be dropped onto a rigid, non-resilient, smooth, flat and horizontal surface. The point of impact must be the most vulnerable part of the base of the Large Packaging being tested. Following the drop, the Large Packaging must be restored to the upright position for observation.

(2) Large Packaging design types with a capacity of 0.45 cubic meters (15.9 cubic feet) or less must be subject to an additional drop test.

(e) Drop height. (1) For all Large Packagings, drop heights are specified 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) Drop tests are to be performed with the solid or liquid to be transported or with a non-hazardous material having essentially the same physical characteristics.

(3) The specific gravity and viscosity of a substituted non-hazardous material used in the drop test for liquids must be similar to the hazardous material intended for transportation. Water also may be used for the liquid drop test under the following conditions:

(i) Where the substances to be carried have a specific gravity not exceeding 1.2, the drop heights must be those specified in paragraph (e)(1) of this section for each Large Packaging design type; and

(ii) Where the substances to be carried have a specific gravity exceeding 1.2, the drop heights must be 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. For all Large Packaging design types there may be no loss of the filling substance from inner packaging(s) or article(s). Ruptures are not permitted in Large Packaging for articles of Class 1 which permit the spillage of loose explosive substances or articles from the Large Packaging. Where a Large Packaging undergoes a drop test, the sample passes the test if the entire contents are retained even if the closure is no longer sift-proof.

[75 FR 5400, Feb. 2, 2010, as amended at 75 FR 60339, Sept. 30, 2010]

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§178.970   Bottom lift test.

(a) General. The bottom lift test must be conducted for the qualification of all Large Packagings design types designed to be lifted from the base.

(b) Special preparation for the bottom lift test. The Large Packaging must be loaded to 1.25 times its maximum permissible gross mass, the load being evenly distributed.

(c) Test method. All Large Packaging design types must be raised and lowered twice by a lift truck with the forks centrally positioned and spaced at three quarters of the dimension of the side of entry (unless the points of entry are fixed). The forks must penetrate to three quarters of the direction of entry.

(d) Criteria for passing the test. For all Large Packagings design types designed to be lifted from the base, there may be no permanent deformation which renders the Large Packaging unsafe for transport and there must be no loss of contents.

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§178.975   Top lift test.

(a) General. The top lift test must be conducted for the qualification of all of Large Packagings design types to be lifted from the top or, for flexible Large Packagings, from the side.

(b) Special preparation for the top lift test. (1) Metal and rigid plastic Large Packagings design types must be loaded to twice its maximum permissible gross mass.

(2) Flexible Large Packaging design types must be filled to six times the maximum permissible gross mass, the load being evenly distributed.

(c) Test method. (1) A Large Packaging must be lifted in the manner for which it is designed until clear of the floor and maintained in that position for a period of five minutes.

(2) Rigid plastic Large Packaging design types must be:

(i) Lifted by each pair of diagonally opposite lifting devices, so that the hoisting forces are applied vertically for a period of five minutes; and

(ii) Lifted by each pair of diagonally opposite lifting devices so that the hoisting forces are applied towards the center at 45° to the vertical, for a period of five minutes.

(3) If not tested as indicated in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, a flexible Large Packaging design type must be tested as follows:

(i) Fill the flexible Large Packaging to 95% full with a material representative of the product to be shipped.

(ii) Suspend the flexible Large Packaging by its lifting devices.

(iii) Apply a constant downward force through a specially designed platen. The platen will be a minimum of 60 percent and a maximum of 80 percent of the cross sectional surface area of the flexible Large Packaging.

(iv) The combination of the mass of the filled flexible Large Packaging and the force applied through the platen must be a minimum of six times the maximum net mass of the flexible Large Packaging. The test must be conducted for a period of five minutes.

(v) Other equally effective methods of top lift testing and preparation may be used with approval of the Associate Administrator.

(d) Criterion for passing the test. For all Large Packagings design types designed to be lifted from the top, there may be no permanent deformation which renders the Large Packagings unsafe for transport and no loss of contents.

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§178.980   Stacking test.

(a) General. The stacking test must be conducted for the qualification of all Large Packagings design types intended to be stacked.

(b) Special preparation for the stacking test. (1) All Large Packagings except flexible Large Packaging design types must be loaded to their maximum permissible gross mass.

(2) Flexible Large Packagings must be filled to not less than 95 percent of their capacity and to their maximum net mass, with the load being evenly distributed.

(c) Test method. (1) All Large Packagings must be placed on their base on level, hard ground and subjected to a uniformly distributed superimposed test load for a period of at least five minutes (see paragraph (c)(5) of this section).

(2) Fiberboard and wooden Large Packagings must be subjected to the test for 24 hours.

(3) Rigid plastic Large Packagings which bear the stacking load must be subjected to the test for 28 days at 40 °C (104 °F).

(4) For all Large Packagings, the load must be applied by one of the following methods:

(i) One or more Large Packagings of the same type loaded to their maximum permissible gross mass and stacked on the test Large Packaging;

(ii) The calculated superimposed test load weight loaded on either a flat plate or a reproduction of the base of the Large Packaging, which is stacked on the test Large Packaging; or

(5) Calculation of superimposed test load. For all Large Packagings, the load to be placed on the Large Packaging must be 1.8 times the combined maximum permissible gross mass of the number of similar Large Packaging that may be stacked on top of the Large Packaging during transportation.

(d) Periodic Retest. (1) The package must be tested in accordance with §178.980(c) of this subpart; or

(2) 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 applicable formula:

Liquids: A = (1.8)(n−1) [w + (s × v × 8.3 × .98)] × 1.5;

or

Solids: A = (1.8)(n−1) [w + (s × v × 8.3 × .95)] × 1.5

Where:

A = applied load in pounds.

n = maximum number of Large Packagings that may be stacked during transportation.

w = maximum weight of one empty container in pounds.

s = specific gravity (liquids) or density (solids) of the lading.

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.

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

(e) Criterion for passing the test. (1) For metal or rigid plastic Large Packagings, there may be no permanent deformation which renders the Large Packaging unsafe for transportation and no loss of contents.

(2) For fiberboard or wooden Large Packagings, there may be no loss of contents and no permanent deformation that renders the whole Large Packaging, including the base pallet, unsafe for transportation.

(3) For flexible Large Packagings, there may be no deterioration which renders the Large Packaging unsafe for transportation and no loss of contents.

(4) For the dynamic compression test, a container passes the test if, after application of the required load, there is no permanent deformation to the Large Packaging which renders the whole Large Packaging; including the base pallet, unsafe for transportation; in no case may the maximum deflection exceed one inch.

[75 FR 5400, Feb. 2, 2010, as amended at 75 FR 60339, Sept. 30, 2010; 78 FR 1097, Jan. 7, 2013]

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§178.985   Vibration test.

(a) General. All rigid Large Packaging and flexible Large Packaging design types must be capable of withstanding the vibration test.

(b) Test method. (1) A sample Large Packaging, selected at random, must be filled and closed as for shipment. Large Packagings intended for liquids may be tested using water as the filling material for the vibration test.

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

(3) The sample Large Packaging must be placed on a vibrating platform that has a vertical double-amplitude (peak-to-peak displacement) of one inch. The Large Packaging must be constrained horizontally to prevent it from falling off the platform, but must be left free to move vertically and bounce.

(4) 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) in thickness (such as steel strapping or paperboard) can be passed between the bottom of the Large Packaging and the platform. Other methods at least equally effective may be used (see §178.801(i)).

(c) Criterion for passing the test. A Large Packaging passes the vibration test if there is no rupture or leakage.

[75 FR 5400, Feb. 2, 2010, as amended at 75 FR 60339, Sept. 30, 2010]

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