Compression test system

Storage and transport of products always occurs in conjunction with compression forces. Stacking products and pallets creates pressure. The higher the stacking, the more the weight that presses on the bottom package. We prefer to stack as high as possible in order to optimally use the available transport and storage space. The stacking height, duration of transport and storage, and environmental conditions affect the strength of the packaging.

General cargo and pallet transport

With the compression test system, the maximum compression strength can be determined for all types and sizes of packaging. With this value, the stacking height in a warehouse or during transport can be calculated. By mimicking the transport or storage situation, it becomes clear what the packaging concerned is able to withstand. A multitude of packagings are always tested in order to exclude coincidental results and demonstrate reproducibility. Another goal of the test could be to examine whether it is possible to save on the cardboard quality or whether another box construction can achieve the same strength.


During the compression tests, it is important that the packagings all have the same temperature and humidity. Especially for cardboard packagings, humidity is important. Cardboard is sensitive to moist and loses strength at higher humidity levels. Temperature greatly influences plastic. At higher temperatures it becomes softer and at lower temperatures it becomes brittle, which affects the strength. Topa Institute has climate and temperature chambers to precondition loose packagings or entire pallet loads.

Test result and value

Initially, it is simply established that the maximum compression value has been reached as soon as the packaging collapses. Subsequently, the compression value is read in Newton and a graph is generated. This value can be used to examine whether the required compression value is achieved.

Pallet performance test

In addition to loose packagings or pallet loads, separate pallets can also be tested with the compression test system. This way, the performances of the individual pallets are examined in various situations. Pallet performance tests consist of a wide range of tests. For instance, whether a pallet sags during racking situations or what happens to a pallet when it is picked up with a forklift.

International standards

Compression tests exist in many ways. Topa Institute tests in accordance with international standards such as ISO, ISTA and ASTM and accordance with client-specific procedures. Possible international standards are:

  • All ISTA standards
  • ASTM D4169
  • ASTM D642
  • ISO 4180
  • ISO 8611
  • ISO 12048

Maximum sizes and machine information

Manufacturer: MTS model 842.60-30

  • Maximum format package (L x W): 220 x 150 cm
  • Maximum height package: 200 cm
  • Maximum compression: 120 kN (± 12 ton)
  • Customizable compression: variable or continuous pressure
  • Verplaatsingssnelheid drukplaat: 0 - 140 cm/min
  • Calibration interval: annual
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