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MIL-STD-810 Method 516 Shock

MIL-STD-810, Method 516, covers shock testing to evaluate the equipment's ability to withstand and operate during and after exposure to various types of shock and shock impulses, including mechanical shocks, pyrotechnic shocks, or explosive shocks. The test engineers and lab technicians at Clark Testing conduct MIL-STD-810 Method 516.6 to assess equipment’s ability to resist shock-related failures and determine its ability to operate in an environment exposed to shock events.

MIL 810 Method 516 provides detailed procedures for conducting shock testing by controlling the magnitudes and durations of the shock impulse. Shock testing utilizes mechanical shock machines, electrodynamic shakers, drop towers, or other specialized shock testing equipment. The specific test parameters, including shock pulse characteristics, duration, and number of shocks, are specified based on the equipment's intended use and the expected shock conditions.

Equipment is assessed based on its ability to withstand the specified shocks without sustaining excessive damage or exhibiting performance degradation beyond acceptable limits. Acceptance criteria may include allowable levels of functional degradation, material damage, or displacement of critical components based on specific equipment applications and tolerances.

There are eight different MIL-STD-810 shock testing methods or procedures:

  1. Procedure I – Functional Shock
  2. Procedure II – Transportation Shock
  3. Procedure III – Fragility
  4. Procedure IV – Transit Drop
  5. Procedure V – Crash Hazard Shock Test
  6. Procedure VI – Bench Handling
  7. Procedure VII – Pendulum Impact
  8. Procedure VIII – Catapult Launch / Arrested Landing
Procedure Description Packaged Unpackaged Operational Non-Operational
I Functional Shock X X
II Transportation Shock X X X
III Fragility X X
IV Transit Drop X X X
V Crash Hazard Shock X
VI Bench Handling X X
VII Pendulum Impact X X
VIII Catapult Launch / Arrested Landing X X

Table: The different procedures in Method 516 and the state of the system or material during testing, as depicted in MIL-STD-810

Procedure I – Functional Shock

Functional Shock assesses the overall survivability of a system and observes whether any functional damage from shocks occurs during system operation.

The shocks administered during this procedure are designed to represent those encountered in operational service environments.

Procedure II – Transportation Shock

Transportation Shock assesses the response of a system to the repetitive shocks encountered in certain transit environments, such as during ground vehicle transportation.

A classical terminal peak sawtooth shock is used. Repetitive shocks may be of similar or varying amplitude and frequency bandwidth.

It’s important to note that MIL-STD-810 does not consider this procedure an equivalent to secured and loose cargo vibration testing in Method 514.18.

Procedure III – Fragility

Fragility basically assesses the strength and frangibility of a system.

Fragility testing is also used to determine the right packaging, stowage or mounting configurations, as well as what specific shock conditions will cause structural or operational damage to the system.

During this procedure, shocks are essentially increased in magnitude until damage or impairment occurs.

Procedure IV – Transit Drop

When you see blogs and other publications mention MIL-STD-810 drop test standards or military drop test standards, they’re referring to Procedure IV – Transit Drop in Method 516.8 of MIL-STD-810.

The procedure involves placing a system is placed inside its transit case, or not, and dropping it onto a hard surface.

The procedure is used to determine if a system is capable of withstanding accidental drops during loading and unloading, such as when it’s being removed from a server rack.

Procedure V – Crash Hazard Shock

Crash Hazard Shock Test assesses systems mounted in air or ground vehicles that could become detached during a crash and present a hazard to drivers, pilots, passengers or bystanders.

This procedure uses simulated crashes to verify the overall structural integrity of a system, as well as any mounts, tie-downs or containment configurations.

Procedure VI – Bench Handling

Bench Handling is for systems that may experience shock on a work bench during maintenance, repair or packaging. The test is performed with the system outside of its transit case or packaging.

Procedure VII – Pendulum Impact

Pendulum Impact assesses the ability of large shipping containers to resist shock resulting from horizontal impact, in addition to how effective packaging and packing methods for the container’s contents are in terms of overall protection.

The test is intended to simulate accidental impacts and is used only on susceptible containers – those that are large, heavy and likely to be handled mechanically as opposed to manually.

Procedure VIII – Catapult Launch / Arrested Landing

Catapult Launch / Arrested Landing is for systems or material mounted on or in fixed-wing aircraft that is subject to shock from catapult launches and arrested landings.

Aircraft catapult launches and the rapid deceleration associated with arrested landings are commonly performed on aircraft carriers.

The test engineering team at Clark Testing can help ensure that equipment will operate, function, and maintain its performance after withstanding an elevated shock impact due to operating conditions. Call or email the Clark Dynamics Test Laboratory for assistance in developing a test plan and conducting the appropriate test to validate your equipment in accordance with MIL-STD-810 Method 516..

Test Set Up

In house custom design and fabrication capabilities (machining and welding) to ensure test fixtures accurately simulation environmental conditions.  FEA capabilities to support fixture design along with welding, fabrication & machining services.  Multiple vibration adapter plates and prefabricated test fixtures help to streamline the testing process.

Instrumentation capabilities including accelerometers and strain gages with multi-channel control and data acquisition equipment ensuring accurate test data is being recorded.  All instrumentation and equipment is provided with measurement uncertainty and compliant   with Clark’s ISO 17025-2017 Quality Program.

Lab technicians and engineers record daily test activities to register all activities, events, and responses during the test.  The daily test logs along with test data, pictures and test procedures are included in comprehensive test report that is the industry standard.

 We work closely with you to validate engineering, ensure quality, analyze test spectrums, and execute accurate testing programs for successful qualification and marketing of your product.

We work closely with you to validate engineering, ensure quality, analyze products and qualify equipment while supporting the time constraints and product cycles that are vital to your success.

Paul Heffernan, CEO of Clark Testing