Packaging Development - Dynamic Drop Test Simulation

Virtual product development techniques such as Finite Element Analysis are powerful tools for simulation of packaging designs.  We utilize these techniques, across multiple industries including Medical and Consumer, to help them develop solutions to tough challenges.  We develop models that simulate packaging from production issues to performance issues including the effects on the contents.  Many conditions can be easily studied through the simulations saving time and money while helping to develop innovative, efficient, and value driven designs.

Application Areas Include:

  • Package Development
  • Package Performance
  • Process Simulation

To illustrate some of the capabilities of packaging simulations we outline two applications involving packages and their contents undergoing drop testing.  The first model demonstrates a medical device inside a sealed blister package.  The device is held within snap fit retaining tabs.


With the simple drop test multiple issues can be investigated including:

  • Retention design's ability to hold the device in place
  • Will the tyvek material remain intact if the device impacts it?
  • Will the Tyvek peel away from the blister and cause a sterility issue?
  • Cracking of the blister material due to impact.
  • What are the forces on the device and it's components?
    • Will components break or bend permanently?
    • Will the device actuate or activate?
  • Optimization of the packaging
    • Materials
    • Thickness variations
    • Processing Variables
    • Environmental Factors
    • Energy Absorption Efficiency
    • Cost Optimization

In the first movie we can see the effects of the impact on the package and the device.  The device is released from the snap retainers and is free to impact the cover.



In the second movie we can see the stress points created by the impact of the device with the cover.  Both the handle and tip of the medical device make contact with the cover which may lead to a puncture and breach of sterility.



The third view shows the impact of the device from inside the blister.  Careful examination shows that the tip of the device actually contact twice during the impact.



This simulation involves cohesive failure of an adhesive used to bond a TYVEK sheet to a strip of PETG material. The model simulates a peel test configuration that can be correlated to testing for the development of the adhesives cohesive material properties. Many configurations can be simulated to properly model the testing and provide a validated model for use in other simulations such as drop testing of a package.



This simulation is a 3 foot drop test with cohesive failure of an adhesive used to bond a TYVEK sheet to a PETG Package. Seal Failure is evident upon impact, highlighted by the arrow in the movie below.



In the second example of a packaging development model we have an example of a fragile product in a protective canister. In this model we have snack chips which are prone to breakage. In order to study the effects of dropping a canister of chips we modeled the chip material to include failure criteria. In this way any damage to the product can be directly studied. The container is a cardboard product with a plastic lid.


In the first movie we see the entire container and its contents impacting the ground. The cardboard canister flexes significantly and the product is shaken violently and thrown upward towards the opening where the lid has come off the canister.



The second movie demonstrates the stresses in the chips as they are thrown about the container. We can see the stress wave as it passes through the chip stack.



A close-up view of the chips during the impact is shown in the third movie. Damage can clearly be seen on the tips of the chips that impact the canister wall. Data like this can be used to optimize the energy absorption characteristics of packaging to avoid damage to its contents.


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