Accelerated aging exposes product to high levels of controlled temperature, humidity, and sometimes pressure in the case of HAST Testing or bias (dc voltage). Shelf life tests help determine if the packaging will protect a perishable product from exposure to light (photostability), temperature extremes, humidity and transportation vibration (the distribution environment).
Especially popular with medical device manufacturers, accelerated aging estimates the life of a product when actual lifespan has yet to be determined under normal use. In the food industry, it is commonly referred to as shelf life testing.
How long in the test chamber equals how many years?
The ultimate test duration is up to you, but there are plenty of industry recognized standards to follow. Element can help recommend industry specifications for your needs. The math ultimately behind the test duration is derived from the Arrhenius reaction rate function.
Medical device accelerated aging and shelf life testing
Accelerated aging uses accelerated temperature, humidity, vibration and UV exposure to determine the long duration effects in compressed time in a laboratory environment. In the medical device industry this type of testing is often referred to as accelerated ageing. The most common accelerated aging test we perform is ASTM F1980
- ASTM F1980: Standard Guide for Accelerated Aging of Sterile Barrier Systems for Medical Devices
- ASTM D4332: Standard Practice for Conditioning Containers, Packages, or Packaging Components for Testing
- ASTM F1327: Standard Terminology Relating to Barrier Materials for Medical Packaging
- ANSI / AAMI / ISO 11607: Packaging for terminally sterilized medical devices
Packaging and climate/handling extremes
Food packaging material has to provide insulation from temperature extremes. Dry food products can be ruined by humidity. Handling and transportation vibration can crush or burst packaging. Element is equipped with a wide variety of temp/humidty environmental chambers and vibration test set ups to simulate such extremes.
Element operates product testing labs certified by ISTA for package testing. More details about Container and Package Testing.
Light and photostability testing
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Here are a few things we will need to know:
- Number and size of samples to be tested
- A defined test profile (duration, temp/humidity, etc. conditions to achieve)
- Any special information unique to the product (unit needs power, function checks must be performed, etc.)
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