Ata Shipping Cases

Written by Sarah Provost
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The Air Transport Association of America is a Federal organization responsible for setting guidelines for testing of cases and containers. ATA shipping cases are the gold standard for anything you might want to ship by commercial airline. As you might expect of a government agency, the specs are profuse and very, very specific.

What Standards Must ATA Shipping Cases Meet?

For starts, the panels must be made of fiberglass-coated plywood. And not just any plywood, but American made, cross-ply, multi-layer 1/4", 3/8" or 1/2" ACX grade plywood. The panels must then be joined with aluminum extrusions that have double wall construction into which the panels are glued and riveted.

The foam interior of ATA shipping cases must meet strict guidelines for density, force deflection, tensile strength, tear strength, cell count and combustibility. All hardware--corners, latches, hinges, etc.--must be of zinc-plated heavy steel and fastened by rivets with a steel backing. The composition and attachment of casters is regulated down to the type of nuts and bolts to be used.

Once ATA shipping cases are produced, they are then subject to a battery of endurance tests. Vibration, shock, high temperature, low temperature and compression are all tested and must fall within strict parameters. When you buy a shipping case approved by the Air Transport Association of America, you can rest assured that it will be able to withstand the rigors of commercial airline shipping.

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