ASTM-D5639 Historical Revision Information
Standard Practice for Selection of Corrugated Fiberboard Materials and Box Construction Based on Performance Requirements

ASTM-D5639 - 2009 EDITION - SUPERSEDED -- See the following: ASTM-D5639/D5639M
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Standard Practice for Selection of Corrugated Fiberboard Materials and Box Construction Based on Performance Requirements


1.1 This practice provides information on corrugated fiberboard for the prospective user who wants guidance in selecting attributes of materials and box construction based on performance requirements. These attributes should be part of specifications which establish levels of the qualities a shipping container must have in order to be acceptable to the purchaser or user. The attributes and qualities should be testable, using standard methods that are recognized by both the buyer and seller. This practice will assist users in developing specifications for corrugated containers through an analysis of performance requirements and subsequent relationships to fiberboard materials and box construction attributes. This practice is intended to provide specific corrugated container performance standards as opposed to packaged product performance evaluation through distribution and handling environments, such as Practice D4169.

1.2 The attributes and their levels should be based on the intended use of the box, including the handling and environment it will encounter. Many packaging regulations include detailed descriptions of the materials that may be used and style, closure, or other construction details of allowed shipping containers. These regulations are presented as minimum requirements; they may be exceeded for functional reasons, but there is no regulatory reason to do so. Rail and motor freight classifications applicable for surface common carrier transportation have established minimum requirements for certain attributes of corrugated packaging. These may or may not be appropriate for application in the complete distribution system, as they encompass only containerboard or combined corrugated boardnot finished boxesand are not intended to provide for the distribution system beyond the transportation segment.

1.3 Corrugated containers for packaging of hazardous materials for transportation must comply with federal regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation (Code of Federal Regulations, CFR 49).

1.4 Lists and Descriptions of Performance and Material Characteristics and Related Test ProceduresFor further information on the development of performance-based specifications, please refer to the sections on Specifications and Test Procedures of the Fibre Box Handbook.

1.5 The values stated in both SI and inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. Within the text, the inch-pound units are shown in brackets. The values stated in each system are not exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other.

1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

Significance and Use

This practice assists users in selecting appropriate performance characteristics of corrugated fiberboard or box construction, or both, commensurate with the user's need for packing and distribution of goods. This practice describes several attributes of fiberboard and boxes which relate to various hazards encountered in distribution and describes test parameters which may be specified by the user to ensure sufficient strength in the box for containment, storage, handling, and protection of contents.

The user should specify only those attributes and related tests which are required for satisfactory performance in the user's operations and distribution cycle(s). When using packaging regulations as a basis for developing specifications, the reason for the existence of the regulation and its function and importance should be understood. As previously stated, regulations may be exceeded and should be when the minimum specifications are inadequate for the full effects of the distribution cycle.

See Appendix X7 for several examples of specification determinations.


box; containment; corrugated; fiberboard; performance; rough handling; stacking; Boxes; Containment systems/applications; Corrugated board/fiberboard materials/applications; Fiberboard containers; Performance--containers/packaging/shipping; Rough handling; Selection guides--materials; Stacking test; ICS Number Code 55.160 (Cases. Boxes. Crates)

To find similar documents by ASTM Volume:

15.10 (Packaging; Flexible Barrier Packaging)

To find similar documents by classification:

55.160 (Cases. Boxes. Crates Containers for solid goods or objects and bulk materials)

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Publication Date

Oct. 1, 2009

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Page Count

10 pages

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