Drop Testing

At NTS, we can evaluate vehicles, products and packaging using multiple varieties of drop testing. As a crucial aspect of testing for many items and materials, drop testing serves as an important indicator of quality and durability.

Drop Test Purpose

During installation, transport or repair, many products have a risk of being dropped. While handlers receive training to treat these items with care, mishaps happen to even the most experienced professionals. Drop testing ensures the product stays in its original condition from manufacturing to implementation.

In addition to ensuring that products survive their journey from point A to point B, many products are at risk for being dropped or jarred throughout their lifetime. These products include handheld devices and tools, lab equipment, personal computers, field measuring equipment, construction tools, etc. In such cases, drop testing may be required to ensure that expensive tools or equipment are capable of surviving the perils of expected use and abuse.

Advantages of Drop Testing

Drop testing can provide valuable data for a wide variety of applications. Our customers use our drop testing services to:

  • Simulate how real-world impacts will affect the item.
  • Evaluate a product for its compliance with government, industry or company standards.
  • Collect detailed data on the item’s performance under impact.

Of course, drop testing can also offer information that can be used for many other purposes, such as for product specifications. The intended outcome of a drop test depends on the manufacturer’s industry and desired results.

Drop Testing for Packages and Products

During a drop test for a product or packaging, NTS equipment creates free fall and sudden impact conditions from different heights and at various angles of impact. The item must withstand the specified conditions and undergoes repeated testing until a fault is exposed. These procedures can help determine the types of situations that will cause functional or cosmetic damage.

Types of Drop Testing Standards for Equipment and Consumer Electronics

Most drop test items must be able to withstand impact such as that which would be experienced when impact testing the item from the average height of a table (approx 30 inches) or more. However, drop test procedures vary by product type and industry. At NTS, our team is capable of performing drop and impact tests to whatever standards our customers specify. There are two different drop test procedures that NTS routinely performs:

  • Telecommunications Equipment: Telecommunications equipment covered under the GR-63-CORE standard must meet the drop methods and shock (height) criteria for containerized and unpackaged equipment. The drop testing methods include free fall, corner drops, and edge drops.
  • Military Equipment: MIL-STD-810 is a United States Military standard specifying environmental test conditions to determine the durability of equipment. Procedure IV of that standard specifies criteria for examining material outside of or within the transit case as it is being loaded, unloaded, moved from a rack, placed within a transit case, or removed from a transit case. During the process, the test simulates an accidental drop or bump shock requiring a free fall from 18 to 48 inches depending on package weight and size. This testing methodology involves 5 to 26 drops and utilizes either a quick release tester or a fixture that elevates and drops one side of the package.

Drop Testing for Other Materials

The standard height for most drop tests relies on the weight of the item being evaluated and the standards used for testing. ASTM and ISTA tests, two of the most common drop tests standards, provide different guidelines for drop height relative to weight. Additionally, the type of test can vary by item and desired outcome. Some products, materials and equipment will need to undergo multiple types of tests for the best results. A testing company like NTS can determine the best fit for every product and application.

NTS Drop Testing

NTS is experienced in performing all types of drop testing, including commercial, telecommunication, military, or any other combination. Additional drop and impact test procedures include IEC 60068 and ASTM specifications for drop testing. We also perform drop and impact testing at high and low temperatures, high and low altitudes, or other extreme environments.

If you have questions or have a particular application in mind, contact us. The NTS team will work with you to implement a drop/impact test solution that meets your needs.

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