Hydrostatic Pressure and Shipping Liquids by Air

Pressure at High Altitudes

As the video above shows, you never know how the pressure change on an airplane will affect our sealed containers. From exploding shaving cream cans in checked luggage, to scattered potato chips at our feet on the floor of an airplane, the unpredictability of a high altitude can certainly cause its share of messes. Aside from having to do laundry while on your vacation, these examples are relatively mild. In the world of shipping dangerous goods, the consequences can be far more severe. For this reason when shipping hazardous liquids by air, our single and inner packaging must pass a hydrostatic pressure test that essentially ensures the pressure differential at high altitudes will not cause a disaster mid-air. You may ask, what is hydrostatic pressure and how is it measured?

What is Hydrostatic Pressure?

Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure exerted by a fluid at equilibrium at a given point within the fluid, due to the force of gravity. For the purpose of shipping dangerous goods, this is measured in kPa or Kilopascal.  When you see a UN Marking on a single package it usually looks something like this 1H1/Y1.8/100. The “100” is referencing the maximum hydrostatic pressure this container was tested at in kPa.

PK-KH6005 Plastic Container

Why is it relevant to shipping by air?

According to the ICAO DGP-WG/09-WP/67: When packages reach high altitudes during transport, they Continue Reading…

IATA
IATA Expresses Concerns Over Laptop Ban

Laptop on wood table

Rethinking the Laptop Ban

Back in March, The United States Government implemented a ban on carry-on electronic devices on certain airlines from the Middle East and Africa to the U.S. due to security fears of a potential bomb threat. However, IATA recently called for the government to re-think this current policy as it has opened up an array of financial concerns for the affected airlines.

Financial Concerns

Since the ban on laptops in carry-on baggage was initiated in March, airlines are finding implementation of the ban has been a financial burden. In addition, governments did not consult with IATA, which gave airlines little time to implement the ban. As passengers are now forced to check their laptop computers, the affected airlines had to increase the training of the current staff as well deploy extra staff due to the increased handling of cargo hold baggage. In addition, the affected airlines fear that companies will cancel trips rather than risk losing confidential information in checked laptops, causing a potential decrease in business customers.

It is estimated that the ban affects more than 18,000 daily passengers, in particular Gulf carriers and airports have noted a drop in passenger traffic between their hubs and the United States. There is certainly a risk of affected airlines losing frustrated passengers to other carriers not affected by the ban. From a systematic point of view, the ban Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
SecurePack 4GV Packaging Q&A

ICC's SecurPack 4GV vermiculite free UN Packaging solution

Vermiculite-free/Dust-free Variation Packaging

A few months back, I wrote a blog about some of the benefits of variation packaging. I outlined all of the benefits variation packaging offers our customers who need to ship a variety of different dangerous goods. Through discussion with some of our customers, I realized that vermiculite isn’t always the best option in every circumstance. That is when I bring up ICC’s SecurePack line of variation packaging. Usually at that point there is silence on the other end of the line. I get a range of reactions from not knowing that they exist to misunderstanding their benefits. Below are a list of frequent questions and answers about SecurePack.

Q. When using SecurePack kits, is vermiculite required as an absorbent?

A. No. SecurePack is a dust-free alternative to standard 4GV packaging. Absorbent pouches are used instead of vermiculite. Once the bottle or article is placed inside of the absorbent pouch, it gets placed in a liner bag to prevent any leakage.

Q. What types of inner containers are allowed to be used with SecurePack?

A. SecurePack can be used with any type of bottle, whether it’s plastic, glass, or metal. Since SecurePack boxes are rated 4GV, they are also a great solution for shipping a variety of solid articles in packing groups I, II, and III.

Inner contsiners, bottles and cans, compatible with SecurePack 4GV

Q. On the website, it says that SecurePack boxes have a 1 liter Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
Anatomy of a Box

Anatomy of a Box - UN Packaging

Fiberboard’s Organs

As we know, the human body is made up of many essential components, from the smallest microscopic cell to the largest of organs. The same goes for corrugated boxes, but instead of cells, there are tiny fibers, and instead of organs, there is inner fluting. All components are necessary to have strong and sound structure. Let’s take a look at the anatomy of a box.

The Corrugated Fiberboard

What exactly is a box mostly made of? Corrugated fiberboard. The corrugated fiberboard is essentially the skeleton of the box. Made up by thousands of tiny fibers, it is created by a corrugator. A corrugator is a large machine that combines two different kinds of paper to create cut sheets of corrugated fiberboard. The flat, facing sheets are referred to as the linerboard. Linerboard is a thin fiberboard that makes up the outer layer. Flutes are inner arches attached in between the linerboards with a starch based adhesive. They are designed to resist pressure and bending in all directions.

corrugated cardboard linerboard
Linerboard

corrugated cardboard Fluting
Fluting

Together makes Corrugated Fiberboard

Fiberboard box

Corrugated Fiberboard can come with various amount of flutes within the linerboard, usually ranging from single wall to triple wall.

Single Face: Consists of 1 linerboard and 1 flute

Single wall: Contains 2 liner boards and 1 flute.

Double wall: Contains 3 linerboards and 2 flutes.

Triple Wall: Contains 4 linerboards and 3 flutes.

Single, double, and triple walled fiberboard

In addition the outer Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
Change Notice: BX-54E

In an effort to continuously improve the quality and performance of our UN packaging, we occasionally must make changes to the specifications and usage instructions. This notice is to inform you that the following changes have been made to BX-54E once current stock with UN marking 4GV/X4.4/S/**/USA/+AA7747 runs out. This affects PK-ETALL, PK-ETALLAP, PK-EGAL, PK-EGALAP, PK-EGALLV, and PK-ETALLLV.

  1. The clear tape required for closure of this packaging has changed from 3M #305 48 mm wide clear tape to 3M #375 48 mm wide clear tape. This change to a stronger tape caused the box to perform better in drop tests, resulting in a more secure packaging.

Click here to view our packing instructions and certificate downloads »

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer relations center in the US at 888‐442‐9628 or in Canada at 888‐977‐4834.

Thank you,
Michael S. Zendano
Packaging Specialist

Packaging Infectious Substances

Infectious Substances Packaging

What Are Infectious Substances?

Infectious Substances are defined as substances which are known or are reasonably expected to contain pathogens, or micro-organisms including bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi which can cause disease in humans or animals. Section 1.4 TDG, IATA 3.6.2.1.1. They are split up into two separate categories. Category A which is capable of causing permanent disability, life-threating or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals. Category A infectious substances are either assigned UN2814 or UN2900 and are class 6.2. IATA 3.6.2.2. Category B substances are any other infectious substances that do not meet the criteria for inclusion of Category A. They are assigned the UN number 3373.

Packaging Infectious Substances

For Category A substances, Infectous Substances Affecting Humans or Animals Only, strict performance criteria should be met on the packaging including drop testing, puncture testing, a pressure testing, and a stacking test. The configuring is often referred to as the triple packaging system. When packaging Category A substances, you must start out with a leak-proof primary receptacle. If the substances are shipped at room temperature or higher, these receptacles must be made of glass, metal, or plastic. The primary receptacles must then be placed into a leak-proof secondary packaging, either wrapped individually or separated to prevent any contact.

Both the primary and secondary packaging must be able to withstand an internal pressure of at least 95 kPa. If Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
Change Notice: BX-105SP

In an effort to continuously improve the quality and performance of our UN packaging, we occasionally must make changes to the specifications and usage instructions. This notice is to inform you that the following changes have been made to BX-105SP (PK-105SP, PK-GLG28IN) once current stock with UN Marking 4GV/X12.9/S/**/USA/+ AA8431 runs out.

  1. The cushioning distances are now 3.85” on the top, 2.5” on the bottom, and 1.7” on the sides.
  2. The clear tape required for closure of this packaging has changed from 3M #305 48mm wide clear tape to 3M #375 48mm wide clear tape. This change to a stronger tape caused the box to perform better in drop tests, resulting in a more secure packaging.

Click here to view our packing instructions and certificate downloads »

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer relations center in the US at 888‐442‐9628 or in Canada at 888‐977‐4834.

Thank you,
Michael S. Zendano
Packaging Specialist

Single Packaging
5 Common Mistakes When Shipping Dangerous Goods

Man preparing shipment

With the amount of hazardous materials being transported every day, It is no surprise that dangerous goods shippers may struggle to be compliant. Whether it is a misinterpretation of the regulations, or not knowing that a specific regulation exists, the end result is the same, fines and endangering the safety of others. Below are some common mistakes when shipping dangerous goods.

1. Failure to Use UN Specification Packaging:

Shipping dangerous goods isn’t as easy as throwing it in a box and taping it closed. Depending on the specific hazardous substance, there are regulations in place that tell us what type of packaging is acceptable. These regulations will also tell us if the hazardous substance requires UN Specification packaging or not, depending on the quantity. Your best bet would be to always err on the side of caution when packaging dangerous goods and make sure your understanding of the regulations is correct.

49 CFR 173.24, Subsection 5.12(1) of the TDG Regulations.

2. Improper Marking and Labeling of Packages in Shipment:

The exact violation will differ with each shipment, however, whatever the violation is they all have one thing in common: a misunderstanding of the Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR) and how they apply to the hazardous materials you are shipping. It is the responsibility of the shipper to ensure the package is marked and labeled correctly. Section 4.10 of the TDG regulations, 172.400 Continue Reading…

Lawnmower
Spring into Safety – Gasoline/Lithium-Ion Battery Powered Lawn Equipment

Backyard

Lawn Equipment Safety

As the cold weather comes to an end (hopefully sooner rather than later) and we turn the corner and head into spring, we will realize that we have our work cut out for us in our backyards. Once the snow melts and the reality sets in that we have a lawn and garden that will need attention, into our sheds and garages we will go to dust off our battery or gas powered lawn equipment to get the job done. Using the lawn equipment may seem pretty straightforward, but we must realize that this equipment is powered by gasoline and lithium-ion batteries, which if not stored and used correctly, or under the wrong circumstances, can be quite dangerous. Below are some safety tips for gasoline and battery powered lawn equipment.

Safety Tips for Gasoline Powered Lawn Equipment:

  • Store gasoline in an approved container or tank. Keep gasoline containers tightly closed and handle them gently to avoid spills.
  • Gasoline is a flammable liquid and should be stored at room temperature, away from potential heat sources such as the sun, a hot water heater, space heater, or a furnace, and a least 50 feet away from ignition sources, such as pilot lights. Gasoline vapors are heavier than air and can travel along the floor to ignition sources.
  • Do not smoke where gasoline is handled or stored.
  • Only Continue Reading…
Single Packaging
Change Notice: PK-1GRPC

Dear Valued Customer,

In an effort to continuously improve the quality and performance of our UN packaging, we occasionally must make changes to the specifications and usage instructions. This notice is to inform you that the following changes have been made to PK-1GRPC.

  1. The Box in this kit will be changing from the BX-115 to BX-115N once current stock runs out. This change adds 3/8” depth to the box making the dimensions of the new box 6.3125″ x 6.3125”x 12.375”.
  2. The clear tape required for closure of this packaging has changed from 3M #305 48mm wide clear tape to 3M #375 48mm wide clear tape. This change to a stronger tape caused the box to perform better in drop tests, resulting in a more secure packaging.

Click here to view our packing instructions and certificate downloads »

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer relations center in the US at 888‐442‐9628 or in Canada at 888‐977‐4834.

Thank you,
Michael S. Zendano
Packaging Specialist