Standardization News

Not Too Tight, Not Too Loose

Keeping the cap tight on a bottle of children's cough medicine is essential, not only to keep children out of the medicine, but also to keep the medicine fresh. Understanding the degree of torque needed for cap tightness is the subject of a new ASTM International standard, D7860, Test Methods for Measurement of Torque Retention for Child Resistant and Non-Child Resistant Packages with Continuous Thread Closures Using Automated Torque Testing Equipment.

Medicine bottles caps that are not tight enough can lead to concentration changes that would adulterate the medicine, leading to potential harm to the consumer and fines to the manufacturer from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The test methods described in ASTM D7860 evaluate the torque retention of continuous thread closures on containers with matching finishes for predetermined environmental conditions over time. Results of the tests can be used for package development and engineering evaluation. The standard will act as a quality assurance aid, ensuring that caps are tightened to the proper torque level.

"Manufacturers of products that are packaged in bottles will be the primary users of D7860," says ASTM member Simon Freed, an independent consultant. "Some third party laboratories may also use the standard."

D7860 was developed by Subcommittee D10.32 on Consumer, Pharmaceutical, Medical and Child Resistant Packaging, part of ASTM Committee D10 on Packaging. All interested parties are invited to join in D10's standard developing activities.

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CONTACT Technical Information: Simon Freed, Simon Freed Consultant LLC • Providence, R.I. • tel +1.908.240.4567 | ASTM Staff: Diane Lake • tel +1.610.832.9661 Upcoming Meeting: April 26-29 • April Committee Week • Anaheim, Calif.

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