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Title 49 Part 178 → Subpart S

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

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 49 Part 178 → Subpart S

e-CFR data is current as of December 10, 2019

Title 49Subtitle BChapter ISubchapter CPart 178 → Subpart S


Title 49: Transportation
PART 178—SPECIFICATIONS FOR PACKAGINGS


Subpart S—Testing of Flexible Bulk Containers

§178.1030   Purpose and scope.

This subpart prescribes certain testing requirements for Flexible Bulk Containers identified in subpart R of this part.

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§178.1035   General requirements.

(a) General. The test procedures prescribed in this subpart are intended to ensure that Flexible Bulk Containers 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 Flexible Bulk Container manufacturer is responsible for ensuring each Flexible Bulk Containers is capable of passing the prescribed tests. To the extent a Flexible Bulk Container'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) Flexible Bulk Container design type refers to a Flexible Bulk Container that does not differ in structural design, size, material of construction and packing.

(2) Design qualification testing is the performance of the drop, topple, righting, tear, stacking, and top-lift tests prescribed in this subpart, for each different Flexible Bulk Container 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 Flexible Bulk Container 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 that must initially be conducted on each newly manufactured Flexible Bulk Container.

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

(i) A packaging that differs in surface treatment;

(ii) A packaging that 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;

(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 Flexible Bulk Container design type. Application of the certification mark by the manufacturer constitutes certification that the Flexible Bulk Container design type passed the prescribed tests in this subpart.

(e) Periodic design requalification testing. (1) Periodic design requalification must be conducted on each qualified Flexible Bulk Container design type if the manufacturer is to maintain authorization for continued production. The Flexible Bulk Container 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) 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 Flexible Bulk Container available to the Associate Administrator, or a designated representative, for testing in accordance with this subpart.

(h) Record retention. Following each design qualification test and each periodic retest on a Flexible Bulk Container, a test report must be prepared. The test report must be maintained at each location where the Flexible Bulk Container is manufactured and each location where the design qualification tests are conducted, for as long as the Flexible Bulk Container is produced and for at least two years thereafter, and at each location where the periodic retests are conducted until such tests are successfully performed again and a new test report produced. In addition, a copy of the test report must be maintained by a person certifying compliance with this part. The test report must be made available to a user of a Flexible Bulk Container or a representative of the Department upon request. The test report, at a minimum, must contain the following information:

(1) Name and address of test facility;

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

(3) A unique test report identification;

(4) Date of the test report;

(5) Manufacturer of the packaging;

(6) Description of the flexible bulk container 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);

(7) Maximum capacity;

(8) Characteristics of test contents (e.g., particle size for solids);

(9) Mathematical calculations performed to conduct and document testing (e.g., drop height, test capacity, outage requirements, etc.);

(10) Test descriptions and results; and

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

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§178.1040   Preparation of Flexible Bulk Containers for testing.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, each Flexible Bulk Container must be closed in preparation for testing and tests must be carried out in the same manner as if prepared for transportation. All closures must be installed using proper techniques and torques.

(b) If the material to be transported is replaced for test purposes by a non-hazardous material, the physical properties (grain, size, viscosity) of the replacement material used that 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.

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§178.1045   Drop test.

(a) General. The drop test must be conducted for the qualification of all Flexible Bulk Container design types and performed periodically as specified in §178.1035(e) of this subpart.

(b) Special preparation for the drop test. Flexible Bulk Containers must be filled to their maximum permissible gross mass.

(c) Test method. (1) A sample of all Flexible Bulk Container design types must be dropped onto a rigid, non-resilient, smooth, flat and horizontal surface. This test surface must be large enough to be immovable during testing and sufficiently large enough to ensure that the test Flexible Bulk Container falls entirely upon the surface. The test surface must be kept free from local defects capable of influencing the test results.

(2) Following the drop, the Flexible Bulk Container must be restored to the upright position for observation.

(d) Drop height. (1) For all Flexible Bulk Containers, drop heights are specified as follows: Packing group III: 0.8 m (2.6 feet)

(2) Drop tests are to be performed with the solid to be transported or with a non-hazardous material having essentially the same physical characteristics.

(e) Criteria for passing the test. For all Flexible Bulk Container design types there may be no loss of the filling substance. However a slight discharge (e.g., from closures or stitch holes) upon impact is not considered a failure of the Flexible Bulk Container provided that no further leakage occurs after the container has been restored to the upright position.

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§178.1050   Top lift test.

(a) General. The top lift test must be conducted for the qualification of all of Flexible Bulk Containers design types to be lifted from the top.

(b) Special preparation for the top lift test. Flexible Bulk Container design types must be filled to six times the maximum permissible gross mass, the load being evenly distributed.

(c) Test method. (1) A Flexible Bulk Container 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) If not tested as indicated in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, a Flexible Bulk Container design type must be tested as follows:

(i) Fill the Flexible Bulk Container to 95% full with a material representative of the product to be shipped.

(ii) Suspend the Flexible Bulk Container 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 Bulk Container.

(iv) The combination of the mass of the filled Flexible Bulk Container and the force applied through the platen must be a minimum of six times the maximum net mass of the Flexible Bulk Container. 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) Criteria for passing the test. For all Flexible Bulk Containers design types designed to be lifted from the top, there may be no damage to the Flexible Bulk Container or its lifting devices that renders the Flexible Bulk Container unsafe for transport, and no loss of contents.

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§178.1055   Stacking test.

(a) General. The stacking test must be conducted for the qualification of all Flexible Bulk Containers design types.

(b) Special preparation for the stacking test. All Flexible Bulk Containers design types must be loaded to their maximum permissible gross mass.

(c) Test method. (1) All Flexible Bulk Containers must be placed on their base on level, hard ground and subjected to a uniformly distributed superimposed test load that is four times the design type maximum gross weight for a period of at least twenty-four hours.

(2) For all Flexible Bulk Containers, the load must be applied by one of the following methods:

(i) Four Flexible Bulk Containers of the same type loaded to their maximum permissible gross mass and stacked on the test Flexible Bulk Container;

(ii) The calculated superimposed test load weight loaded on either a flat plate or a reproduction of the base of the Flexible Bulk Container, which is stacked on the test Flexible Bulk Container.

(d) Criteria for passing the test. There may be no deterioration that renders the Flexible Bulk Container unsafe for transportation and no loss of contents during the test or after removal of the test load.

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§178.1060   Topple test.

(a) General. The topple test must be conducted for the qualification of all Flexible Bulk Containers design types.

(b) Special preparation for the topple test. Flexible Bulk Container design types must be filled to their maximum permissible gross mass, the load being evenly distributed.

(c) Test method. Samples of all Flexible Bulk Container design types must be toppled onto any part of its top by lifting the side furthest from the drop edge upon a rigid, non-resilient, smooth, flat and horizontal surface. This test surface must be large enough to be immovable during testing and sufficiently large enough to ensure that the test Flexible Bulk Container falls entirely upon the surface. The test surface must be kept free from local defects capable of influencing the test results.

(d) Topple height. (1) For all Flexible Bulk Containers, topple heights are specified as follows: Packing group III: 0.8 m (2.6 feet).

(e) Criterion for passing the test. For all Flexible Bulk Container design types there may be no loss of the filling substance. However a slight discharge (e.g., from closures or stitch holes) upon impact is not considered a failure of the Flexible Bulk Container.

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§178.1065   Righting test.

(a) General. The righting test must be conducted for the qualification of all Flexible Bulk Containers design types designed to be lifted from the top or side.

(b) Special preparation for the righting test. Flexible Bulk Container design types must be filled to not less than 95% of their capacity and to their maximum permissible gross mass, the load being evenly distributed.

(c) Test method. A sample Flexible Bulk Container design type must be tested; the Flexible Bulk Container should start lying on its side and then must be lifted at a speed of at least 0.1m/s (0.328 ft/s) to an upright position clear of the floor, by no more than half of the lifting devices.

(d) Criterion for passing the test. For all Flexible Bulk Container design types there must be no damage that renders the Flexible Bulk Container unsafe for transport or handling.

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§178.1070   Tear test.

(a) General. The tear test must be conducted for the qualification of all of Flexible Bulk Containers design types.

(b) Special preparation for the tear test. Flexible Bulk Container design types must be filled its maximum permissible gross mass, the load being evenly distributed.

(c) Test method. (1) A Flexible Bulk Container design type must be placed on the ground and a 300 mm (11.9 in) cut shall be made. This 300 mm (11.9 in) cut must:

(i) Completely penetrate all layers of the Flexible Bulk Container on a wall with a wide face.

(ii) Be made at a 45° angle to the principal axis of the Flexible Bulk Container, halfway between the bottom surface and the top level of the contents.

(2) The Flexible Bulk Container after being cut according to the provisions of §178.1070(c)(1), must be subjected to a uniformly distributed superimposed load equivalent to twice the maximum gross mass of the package. This load must be applied for at least fifteen minutes. Flexible Bulk Containers that are designed to be lifted from the top or the side must, after removal of the superimposed load, be lifted clear of the floor and maintained in that position for a period of fifteen minutes.

(d) Criterion for passing the test. For all Flexible Bulk Container design types, the cut must not spread more than an additional 25% of its original length.

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