PackTalk is a blog for the Healthcare Packaging Industry

Seal Strength Testing: Is 1 lb. Still the Go-To Metric? ASTM WK57656 Update


Published on March 13, 2020

A few years ago, I started a journey on behalf of packaging professionals everywhere—to validate or debunk the 1 lb. standard for seal strength testing. For as long as I can remember, it has been a popular topic of conversation and debate in every gathering or get-together with veteran and beginning packaging engineers alike. We discuss where the 1 lb. standard came from, why 1 lb. became the go-to metric, and if 1 lb. is right for every package out there.

This became a passion for me, so I volunteered to lead an ASTM task force dedicated to developing a new standard for seal strength testing. The ASTM committee I am leading, ASTM-WK57656, is working hard to find the answers to these timeless questions. We have taken a holistic approach to solving this challenge, using a bottom-up approach—implementing one of two methods to determine package seal strength:

  • Edge of Failure (EOF)

  • Guard Banding

Writing the new standard is not meant to disqualify current methodologies for determining seal strength, because these methods often work just fine. The new standard, rather, is meant to challenge and guide new packaging as a way to innovate and improve. The main message will always be to justify your chosen value with rationale and data-driven evidence.

The process has taken longer than we expected but considering how pervasive the 1 lb. history has been in our industry, the team is committed to getting it right for our community. At times, it feels like we’re not moving the needle forward, but then we remind ourselves that no one has ever done this before. The next step will be to get our draft on the ASTM voting ballot, which I’m hopeful will be later this year. We’re getting closer every day, but there are still many unanswered questions.

Want to learn more about my journey? You can find my original article on LinkedIn here, plus an on-demand webinar I did called “Developing a New Standard for Seal Strength Testing” here.

Geoff Pavey
Technical Fellow - Technology Manager | Oliver Healthcare Packaging

Comments (5)

Related Articles

Giving Thanks

November 28, 2020

Thanksgiving is a holiday of the heart, through the lens of gratitude. The year of COVID-19 has made that message shine brighter than any other year, if nothing else.

As we round the bend to sweep away 2020, we’ve been reminded of many things to be thankful...

Learn More

Behind the Scenes of Our Nurses Speak Up Video Series

November 28, 2020

Recently, I had the pleasure of virtually interviewing five operating room scrub nurses. I interviewed them as a part of our new video series, PackTalk: Nurses Speak Up. The goal of these interviews was to get real, honest feedback from healthcare...

Learn More

MedTech Conference Hot Topics

November 28, 2020

AdvaMed’s conference takes on medtech’s need to actively increase diversity and inclusion and fight racism, now.

If there is one thing we’ve learned in 2020, it is that our industry, along with others, must take a stand against racial injustice. AdvaMed’s...

Learn More

Stay Informed

To stay up to date on innovative technology and products, as well as industry trends, subscribe to Oliver’s PackTalk blog below.