Vibration Testing of packages is used to assess the strength of the container and the protection it provides to its internal contents.  Three common ASTM vibration test specifications are:

  • ASTM D999, Standard Test Methods for Vibration Testing of Shipping Containers
  • ASTM D3580, Standard Test Methods for Vibration (Vertical Linear Motion) Test of Products
  • ASTM D4728, Standard Test Methods for Random Vibration Testing of Shipping Containers


ASTM D999 is appropriate for packages that are transported unrestrained on the bed of a vehicle.  ASTM D999 has four different methods.  ASTM D999 Methods A1 and A2 are repetitive motion tests.  Method A1 uses a sinusoidal linear vertical motion, while Method A2 uses a rotary motion.  Methods B and C are resonance tests.  Method B is a single container resonance test while Method C is a resonance test for palletized loads or stacked containers.  During resonance testing, response accelerometers are mounted on the internal contents to measure the effectiveness of the packaging.

ASTM D3580

ASTM D3580 is used to determine resonances of unpackaged products and components of unpackaged products by using vertical linear motion.  ASTM D3580 has two different methods, Method A and Method B.  Test Method A is for resonance searching using sinusoidal vibration.  A sinusoidal vibration sweep from 3 to 100Hz is performed at a constant acceleration level between 0.25 and 0.5 G.  Test Method B is for resonance searching using random vibration.  Typically, a random vibration spectrum from ASTM D4728 is used for Method B. 

ASTM D4728

ASTM D4728 covers the random vibration testing of filled shipping containers.  It provides guidance in the development and use of vibration data in the testing of shipping containers.  ASTM D4728 discusses two different control methods, open and closed loop.  ASTM D4728 just provides guidance, so it is normally combined with other standards such as ASTM D4169. 

DES has been performing vibration and resonance testing for many years in our accredited laboratory.  Please contact a professional if you have any questions.