(a)General. The hydrostatic pressure test must be conducted for the qualification of all metal, plastic, and composite packaging design types intended to contain liquids and be performed periodically as specified in § 178.601(e). This test is not required for inner packagings of combination packagings. For internal pressure requirements for inner packagings of combination packagings intended for transportation by aircraft, see § 173.27(c) of this subchapter.
(b)Number of test samples. Three test samples are required for each different packaging. For packagings constructed of stainless steel, monel, or nickel, only one sample is required for periodic retesting of packagings. Exceptions for the number of aluminum and steel sample packagings used in conducting the hydrostatic pressure test are subject to the approval of the Associate Administrator.
(c)Special preparation of receptacles for testings. Vented closures must either be replaced by similar non-vented closures or the vent must be sealed.
(d)Test method and pressure to be applied. Metal packagings and composite packagings other than plastic (e.g., glass, porcelain or stoneware), including their closures, must be subjected to the test pressure for 5 minutes. Plastic packagings and composite packagings (plastic material), including their closures, must be subjected to the test pressure for 30 minutes. This pressure is the one to be marked as required in § 178.503(a)(5). The receptacles must be supported in a manner that does not invalidate the test. The test pressure must be applied continuously and evenly, and it must be kept constant throughout the test period. In addition, packagings intended to contain hazardous materials of Packing Group I must be tested to a minimum test pressure of 250 kPa (36 psig). The hydraulic pressure (gauge) applied, taken at the top of the receptacle, and determined by any one of the following methods must be:
(1) Not less than the total gauge pressure measured in the packaging (i.e., the vapor pressure of the filling material and the partial pressure of the air or other inert gas minus 100 kPa (15 psi)) at 55 °C (131 °F), multiplied by a safety factor of 1.5. This total gauge pressure must be determined on the basis of a maximum degree of filling in accordance with § 173.24a(d) of this subchapter and a filling temperature of 15 °C (59 °F);
(2) Not less than 1.75 times the vapor pressure at 50 °C (122 °F) of the material to be transported minus 100 kPa (15 psi) but with a minimum test pressure of 100 kPa (15 psig); or
(3) Not less than 1.5 times the vapor pressure at 55 °C (131 °F) of the material to be transported minus 100 kPa (15 psi), but with a minimum test pressure of 100 kPa (15 psig).
Packagings intended to contain hazardous materials of Packing Group I must be tested to a minimum test pressure of 250 kPa (36 psig).
(e)Criteria for passing the test. A package passes the hydrostatic test if, for each test sample, there is no leakage of liquid from the package.