The science of drop testing plastic drums containing liquids

Posted in: 14/05/2020 pm31 5:25 pm


Category: Uncategorized

This article is long, but it’s an easy read with lots of pictures.

It includes:

  1. an introduction to drop testing;
  2. an analysis of what happens during impact;
  3. theory of water hammer, impact stress, and impact energy;
  4. theory of stress distribution and the contributing factors that lead to product failures;
  5. the behaviour of crack propagation; and
  6. some common failure modes.

The article is downloadable here in pdf format.

If you have any questions, then please get in contact by emailing us at info@auscompliancelab.com.

Transporting sanitiser in Limited Quantities

Posted in: 14/05/2020 pm31 3:11 pm


Category: Uncategorized

Quick introduction

Ethanol solution (“sanitiser”) is considered to be dangerous goods because it’s highly flammable.

Most dangerous goods packages need to be tested in accordance with Chapter 6.1.5 of the ADG Code (the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road & Rail). However, there is some discussion as to whether or not a box containing bottles of sanitiser needs to be tested.

The argument goes:

‘Boxes containing sanitiser don’t require testing, provided that the inner packages are small enough to be Limited Quantities.

And this is true. So, what’s the Limited Quantity for sanitiser?

The Limited Quantity for sanitiser

The below section is taken from the ADG Code. It shows that sanitiser can be defined as either a packing group II or III substance. This defines the severity of the dangerous good (packing group II being the more dangerous).

The section states that the Limited Quantity allowance of the inner containers may be:

  • no more than 1L for packing group II sanitiser; but
  • no more than 5L for packing group III sanitiser.

So, which packing group is your sanitiser?

Determining the packing group of sanitiser

It’s all about the classification of the sanitiser’s flammability.

Using the below table, each type of sanitiser needs to be assessed for its flash point. If it’s less than 23°C, then the sanitiser is packing group II; however, if it’s between (or equal to) 23°C and 60°C, then the sanitiser is packing group III.

This information should be available in the sanitiser’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Otherwise the flash point may be determined by a laboratory in accordance with AS 2106–series, Methods for the determination of the flash point of flammable liquids (closed cup).

In summary

Companies supplying sanitiser must abide by the ADG Code. This is a legal requirement as per the Dangerous Goods Act 1985.

You don’t have to get testing on a box containing bottles of sanitiser, provided that the inner bottles are small enough to be Limited Quantities (as per Chapter 3.4 of the ADG Code).

If the inner bottles are larger than Limited Quantities, then the box and the bottles need to be tested by a NATA laboratory in accordance with Chapter 6.1.5 of the ADG Code.

Limited Quantity packages must abide by Chapter 3.4 of the ADG Code.

Some useful information

Is there more testing? Does the inner bottle need to be tested independently of the assembled box?

Yes. This is required by the current edition of the ADG Code (7.6), as per Chapter However, it’s worth saying that this may be removed in the new edition of the code which will be released late in 2020.


  1. Here is a copy of the current ADG Code, Edition 7.6
  2. Here is a publicly available MSDS on 70% ethanol. The flash point is 12°C which makes it packing group II. This means that the Limited Quantity allowance is 1L inner bottles.

Need help?

Please email us at info@auscompliancelab.com if you have any questions about this article, dangerous goods packaging compliance, or getting your packaging tested.

This article is subject to ACL’s Disclaimer of Published Materials

DG Packaging: Mock Testing Procedures

How to perform dangerous goods (DG) packaging mock testing is one of the most common questions we hear in industry.

“How do I know if my packaging will pass DG testing before I submit it to the lab?”

This is a very fair question since failed testing can lead to project delays, over-drawn project budget, agitated upper management, and added stress to the Project Manager.

With some quick in-house mock testing, companies can save a of of time and money.

Below are our downloadable links to some basic mock testing procedures. Companies may use these to validate their packagings before submitting them to the laboratory for formal analysis.

Drop Testing

  1. Drop testing jerrycans
  2. Drop testing drums
  3. Drop testing fibreboard boxes
  4. Drop testing bags

Pressure Testing

  1. Pressure testing jerrycans and drums

Stack Testing

  1. Stack testing jerrycans and drums
  2. Stack testing fibreboard boxes

Inner Packaging Testing

  1. Testing inner packagings

The codes

The DG packaging mock test methods in this document are modelled on those in the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG Code)and the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNRDG), Chapter 6.1.5.

General guidance

When using these procedures, it’s important to note that:

  1. Mock testing on one package means nothing as it may give an out-lying result. You need to test on many samples to create reliable data. The more samples you test, the more reliable your data.
  2. It’s prudent to over-test your package before submitting. This can be achieved by exceeding the test requirements and/or performing many tests on one package.
  3. The more measurement, control, and repeatability of your tests, the better.
  4. The closer to laboratory conditions of your tests, the better.



If you need more information regarding DG packaging mock testing then please contact us. We’d love to share our insights. Email: info@auscompliancelab.com

This article is subject to ACL’s Disclaimer of Published Materials.

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