William H. Sardo Jr. Pallet and Container Research Lab


As part of the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design (CPULD), the William H. Sardo Jr. Pallet and Container Research Laboratory has benefited major companies and government agencies for over 40 years by predetermining product protection for consumer and industrial products. If you have experienced excessive damage claims, high packaging costs, or are contemplating the introduction of a new product package, our laboratorys services will be a real benefit to you.

At the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design, you will find that we have highly specialized, but still versatile, package testing and design facilities focused on various aspects of the unit load. We are testing corrugated, paper, wood, metal, and plastic for serviceability as container components as well as ensuring manufacturers compliance to customers specifications.

We are an independent, certified, ISTA testing laboratory, staffed by highly-skilled, certified technicians who can perform tests in accordance with ASTM, TAPPI, ISO, ANSI, standards and customized application methods developed in our laboratory for and/or by our clients.





Vertical Linear / Random Vibration Table

Table size: 60in x 60in

Payload capacity: 2500lb

Dynamic force rating: 3g

Double amplitude displacement: 2in

Frequency range: 2Hz-300Hz



Description

Our vibration table reproduces a broad range of vibration events that can happen during physical distribution. Vibrations can influence the stability, performance, and quality of unit loads and packages. Our well-trained staff safely tests structures much greater than the size of the vibration table using innovative experimental setups.





Incline Impact Tester

Incline: 10 degrees

Dolly platfrom: 48in x 48in

Impact zone size: 60in x 60in

Payload capacity: 2,000lbs



Description

Our incline table evaluates the stability of full unit loads and durability of new/innovative pallet and packaging designs.


Split Table Tester:

Maximum package weight: 125lbs

Drop height range: 12in x 60in

Max package size: 36in x 36in



Swing Arm Drop Tester:

Maximum package weight: 150lbs

Drop height range: 12in x 60in

Max package size: 16in x 12in






Compression Testers



Tinius Olsen

Payload capacity: 25,000lbs

Plate Size: 60in x 72in

Load applicator: fixed platen, air-bag

Maximum unit load height: 9 feet



Description

The Tinius Olsen Compression Machine (with a load capacity of 40,000lbs, a plate area of 30 square feet, and a maximum clearance between plates of 9 feet) is ideal for evaluating an individual container or an entire pallet load of containers. This compression machine has an electronic load holder that maintains a fixed compression load on the container for as long as desired.





Lansmont Squizer

Payload capacity: 5,000lb

Plate Size: 30in x 30in

Load applicator: fixed plate

Maximum package height: 3 feet



Description

The Lansmont Squizer compression test system quantifies box performance, so the effect of various board mediums, closures, and interior partitions can be compared by means of "load sharing" analysis. Production line variations can be easily benchmarked against design standards.





Custom Pallet Tester

Payload capacity: 10,000lb

Plate Size: 48in x 40in

Load applicator: air-bag



Description

This pallet tester evaluates the strength and stiffness of pallets. A load is applied with an airbag to reproduce a completely distributed load. The glass windows in each side control the temperature during the test. This way, we can test pallet behavior in different environmental conditions.





High Performance Compression Testers:

Other than the compression testers above, we also have access to high performance compression testers with maximum capacity of 1,200,00lbs.





Universal Mechanical Testers



MTS 10/GL with Testworks 4 software

Force rating: 10,000lb

Speed: 20in per minute

Load cells: 200lb, 1,000lb, 10,000lb

Type of mechanical tests: tension, compression, and fracture



Description

This is an electrically driven test frame. The system is used in various ASTM test. We have several types of fixtures for the unit. They include 3 and 4 point bending, fracture grips, tensions grips, internal bond grips, paper compression, and corrugated paper.





MTS 322 with Flextest 40 software

Force rating: 50,000lb

Speed: 20in per minute

Load cells: 5,000lb and 10,000lb

Type of mechanical tests: tension, compression, cyclic and fracture



Description

This is a servo hydraulic system. The system is used in various ASTM tests. We have several types of fixtures for the unit. They include 3 and 4 point bending, tensions grips, and shear grips. This frame is also equipped with a torsion attachment that allows us to twist a specimen up to 100 degrees. This unit can also be used for fatigue testing.





MTS: 7940 with Labview software

Force rating: 20,000lb

Load cells: 1,000lb, 5,000lb and 20,000lb

Type of mechanical tests: tension, compression, cyclic and fracture



Description

This is a servo hydraulic system. The system is used in various ASTM test. We have several types of fixtures for the unit. They include 3 and 4 point bending, tensions grips, and shear grips. The unit can also be used for cyclic fatigue tests.





Environmental Test Chambers



Chamber 1

Built by: Environmental Specialists

Size: 10in x 18in x 7in

Relative humidity: 45% to 90%



Description

This chamber is maintained at a constant 20°C and 65% relative humidity (Rh). This allows us to maintain an EMC of 12% in our wood samples.





Vertical 30ft Chamber with Desiccant Dryer

Model: #9135-8114DT

Temperature range: 7° to 85°C (44.6° to 185°F)

Relative Humidity Range: 10% to 95%



Description

This chamber is used to condition samples before testing and to simulate changing weather conditions.





Shock Tester

Carriage Size: 10in x 10in

Payload capacity: 30lbs

Carriage fall: 42in

Max. Acceleration: 3,500G

Min. Pulse Duration 0.3ms

Shock Pulse Capabilities: half sine, sawtooth, square



Description

Our shock tester is used to evaluate and design rugged products (such as electronics) and protective shipping packages. It produces half-sine, sawtooth, and square wave pulses meeting military (MIL-SPC) and industrial (ASTM, ISO, JEDEC) specifications.





Fast Track Area


Description

To test a palletized unit load for durability and economics of use, we simulate rough handling. This accelerated rough handling can be achieved by using devices employed in material handling. An example of such a test is found in ASTM D1083. We follow a protocol developed and used at the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design of Virginia Tech. This is a modification of a test protocol developed by the Procter and Gamble Company to simulate the use of pallets in the grocery dry goods industries. The test simulates idle pallet storage, palletizing, shipping, transport, receiving, and three types of storage: static rack, flow rack, and block staking. To read the full the FasTrack Protocol, please click the link below.

FasTrack Protocol