This study investigated the frequency and magnitude of free-fall drops, tosses and impacts encountered by a small package during overnight air transportation between Memphis, Tennessee and Gennevilliers, France. It was assumed that the package would experience similar hazards during each trip through this distribution environment. It was also assumed that the hazards the package encountered between the United States and France would be similar to the hazards it encountered between France and the United States. The package was instrumented with a data recorder to measure and record the events experienced by the package. The largest drop occurred from a height of 51 inches and the largest toss occurred from a height of 75 inches. The largest impact was 128 in/sec. The events recorded were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test. This test uses ranks to evaluate whether samples have been taken from populations with equal means. It uses the chi-square sampling distribution to describe chance variability. With the exception of the drop heights for the free-fall drops and tosses recorded during the last of the four trips, there is no evidence that the population means are not all equal. In the fourth trip, the test value for the drop heights calculated using the Kruskal-Wallis test may suggest that the population means are not all equal. However, it was demonstrated that this test value could be due to chance variability. Three things were concluded from this study. First, it was concluded that the package experiences similar hazards during each trip through the distribution environment. Second, the hazards the package experiences between the United States and France are similar to the hazards it experiences between France and the United States. Third, the majority of hazards encountered by the package occurred during ground handling operations.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Packing for shipment--Testing; Containers--Testing; Packaging--Testing
Department, Program, or Center
Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (CAST)
Stevenson, Ann Marie, "Free-fall drops, tosses and impacts measured in the small parcel international overnight air distribution environment" (1997). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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