Understanding Testing Standards for Materials

Testing is a major component of an XPRIZE, and understanding the current landscape of materials testing is essential in order to identify which and what standards should be applied for this competition.

We’ve identified the following organizational bodies as pertinent to our research and prize design: ASTM, ISO, EN

  • What are your experiences with the different organizational bodies that produce testing standards?
  • Are there any limitations to using one organizational body of standards over the other?
  • With a compostable plastic-wrap film in mind, are there any particular standards we need to consider or avoid?

Here is our new discussion on testing standards, @Olawale @FranckSaintMartin @jcoonrod @kcamphuis @kjbradford @austinclowes @LaurenTurk @LHanson @NoraEatREAL @ricardoyudi @Joanne - any thoughts or experiences around these testing standards? Any recommendations?

In addition to testing aspects that focus on a material’s obvious aspects (e.g. safety, biodegradable, durability, permeability, flexibility and transparency) it might be important to also consider factors that are relevant to how the material behaves in machinery that is used to package food.

Corporations might be hesitant to change plant equipment if it involves a significant capital investment in new plant machinery, and a significant amount of downtime to install and commission new machinery. Ideally, the new packaging material should behave satisfactorily in existing machinery. That leads to an additional list of factors (e.g. properties as a function of temperature, durability, and flexibility). This additional list might require additional standards and test bodies.

@akb makes a great point. I won’t pose as an expert on testing standards, but would instead recommend that you also look into or speak with teams at the Global Cold Chain Alliance (see this) or NSF International.