4G VS 4GV packaging: what’s the difference? | Help Center
If you buy UN rated corrugated cardboard boxes, you will likely see that they have a marking starting with 4G or 4GV. Whether you are shipping glass bottles, paint cans, plastic bottles or lithium batteries, look for UN compliant packaging doesn’t have to be difficult. What is the difference between a 4G and 4GV classified box, and what is the right solution for you?
What is 4G packaging?
When you see a 4G on the outside of your UN package, it basically means it’s a box (4) and it’s made of (corrugated) cardboard (G). 4G UN packaging is designed to meet a very specific need of a shipper of dangerous goods. For example, a 4G case must go through the full range of UN tests, including drop tests, battery tests, vibration standard, and a Cobb test. If there is only a “4G” on the outside of the box, it has been tested by the UN with specific inner packaging such as a gallon paint can, plastic bottle. narrow neck of a liter or a mass of lithium battery for example. If the design was tested with a 1 liter metal paint can with an insert and a Ringlok, the sender should use that same configuration the can was tested with.
So in the picture above, if the sender used this box, it must be with the insert, and for use with a metal round paint box inner packaging with a Ringlok. If a shipper were to remove the insert and ship a lithium battery in this box, it would not be compliant as it has not been tested by the UN in this manner. If the shipper decided to ship a plastic paint can in this box, it would also not be compliant as the box has been tested UN with a round metal paint can. Some minor modifications are allowed regarding the inner container in accordance with 178.601 (g) (1), such as the use of the same type of inner container but smaller as long as the empty space is constituted inside the packaging, but for the most part the same design and the same inner packing material should be used. As to which components the box or kit is tested with, any questions can be resolved by simply following the closing instructions, which lists the conforming components required for assembly.
What is 4GV Packaging?
When you see the letter “V” on your UN specification packaging, it means a variation. 4GV packaging, also called variant 2 packaging, is referenced in 49CFR under 178.601 (g) (2) and TP14850 in article 12.7. The main difference here is that the internal components used in the 4GV box are allowed to change, as long as there is enough absorbent in the design tested to completely absorb the liquid contents shipped, and it must contain a liner bag. UN tests are more stringent on these designs as they are tested with fragile interior containers, such as glass, they are tested against drops from a height of packing group I, and in addition more weight is added to the tested packaging only what the UN specification code identifies. These boxes are suitable for a wide variety of interior containers such as glass, metal, and plastic of all different shapes and sizes. In addition, items and solids such as lithium batteries can be shipped in these boxes. There are strict rules that must be followed here, such as any absorbent that the closing instructions call for must be used as well as the damping distances must be followed very closely (click here to see my blog on the distances of amortization). For example, the 4GV box below has been tested UN with grade 4 vermiculite as an absorbent with a liner bag, so it can be used with a wide variety of inner containers as long as the vermiculite and the bag liner are used in the manner in which they were tested. .
Unlike the 4GV box below which has been tested with an absorbent pouch, liner bag and molded pulp inserts.
What is right for you?
If you have a wide variety of interior containers and want to use universal packaging for all of them, then 4GV packaging is for you. Remember, by design, whether you are shipping solids or liquids, if you are using 4GV packaging, you should use the type of absorbent bag and liner that the box has been tested with UN. Suppose you only have one type of inner container that you continuously ship and you don’t want to use absorbents. In this case, a standard 4G packaging may be the solution if it has been specifically tested with your type of inner container. If you wish, you can always add a liner bag and / or absorbent to 4G designs if required by regulations or to fill the gap when shipping your specific dangerous goods. If you have any questions about which packaging is right for you, please contact us at 888-442-9628 (US) or 888-977-4834 (Canada), and ask one of our regulatory experts, or browse our wide variety of packaging products.
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