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Mechanical Impact and Aerosol Containers

Aerosol containers are everywhere in our daily lives, and they are found in products ranging from hairspray to cooking oil spray. These containers utilize pressurized gas to propel the product out of the container when the valve is opened. However, one critical factor that often goes unnoticed is the effect of mechanical impact.

Aerosol containers typically comprise three main components: the canister, valve, and product formulation. The canister, usually made of aluminum or steel, holds the product under pressure. The valve controls the product’s release by opening and closing when actuated. The product formulation, whether hairspray, air freshener, or cooking oil, is propelled out of the canister when the valve is opened.

What is mechanical impact?

Mechanical impact refers to any physical force exerted on the aerosol container. This impact can occur during various stages, from manufacturing and transportation to storage and consumer usage. Here’s how mechanical impact can affect aerosol containers:

  • Dents and Deformation: External forces such as dropping, crushing, or bumping can cause dents or deformation in the canister. These deformities compromise the container’s structural integrity, potentially leading to leakage or malfunctioning of the valve.
  • Valve Damage: Mechanical impact can also damage the valve assembly, preventing it from functioning correctly. A damaged valve may leak the product continuously or fail to dispense the product altogether, resulting in product wastage or consumer dissatisfaction.
  • Pressure Changes: Significant mechanical impact can alter the internal pressure of the aerosol container. If the pressure exceeds the container’s design limits, it may rupture, leading to potentially hazardous situations.
  • Propellant Loss: Mechanical impact may cause micro-fractures or punctures in the canister, leading to the escape of propellant gas. A loss of propellant affects the product’s dispensing efficiency and shelf life, rendering it ineffective over time.

Mechanical impact can significantly challenge the integrity and performance of aerosol containers. Understanding the potential consequences of such implications and implementing appropriate measures to mitigate its effects is crucial for ensuring aerosol products’ reliability, safety, and efficacy.

Proper packaging is essential to mitigate the effects of mechanical impact on aerosol shipments. Strong packaging and cushioning materials help protect the aerosols from shocks and bumps during transport. Additionally, ensuring secure stacking and handling procedures can minimize the risk of damage due to mechanical impact.

ICC is passionate about keeping us all safe when handling, storing, manufacturing, or transporting dangerous goods. Our team can help your business stay compliant and informed through our resources and products. Contact us to learn more about the ICC difference.

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Karrie Ishmael, CDGP

Karrie Ishmael has been with ICC since 1988. She has contributed to ICC's growth in various capacities, including customer service, sales, and marketing. In her current role as ICC's Senior Regulatory Expert and SDS author, Karrie conducts hazardous materials training classes in 49 CFR, IATA, IMDG, TDG along with OSHA and WHMIS hazard communication courses. When not training, she writes safety data sheets for customers to comply with North American and European requirements. She actively participates in many associations, including DGAC, COSTHA and is the former chair of SCHC’s OSHA Alliance Committee.

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