Published in HAZMAT Packager & Shipper, Volume 13, Issue 6, March 1, 2003, pages 25-31. Republished with permission of the Journal of HazMat Transportation (formerly, HazMat Packager & Shipper). Web address: http://www.hazmatship.com. Telephone: (877) 429-7447.
This paper discusses the impact of high altitude shipments on package integrity. High altitude shipments are encountered when trucks travel over high mountain passes or when cargo and feeder aircraft transport packages in non-pressurized or partially-pressurized cargo holds. Both these types of transport methods will result in severe changes in pressure and temperature conditions as compared to packages being transported close to sea-level The testing of packages under these conditions is critical since package integrity may be compromised. The current shipping tests performed in test labs do not account for pressure changes and vibration together. This study showed that combination packages for dangerous goods and hazardous materials that are tested to existing UN, ICAO and US DOT requirements are limited, and can result in significant number if leaks. Testing under combined vibration and pressure changes is necessary.