How to Meet Military Packaging Specifications for Foam

Military packaging specifications are essentially rules and regulations for manufacturers and shippers to comply with in order to ensure products are not damaged and are safely moved during transport. In terms of the foam packaging you use, it means that only specific materials are allowed to be used. Everything from the foam class to its grade, type, and other factors are specified and outlined in MIL STD CID A-A-59136. In order to avoid compliance breaches, it’s important to understand these regulations and how they impact the protective packaging you use. 

Military Packaging Specifications

MIL STD CID A-A-59136 specifies the closed-cell foam plank materials that can be used for cushioning and packaging applications. This includes the necessary static dissipative and flame-retardant grades. The standard breaks foam materials down into three categories: class, grade, and type. 

Class (which identifies the type of material) is further broken down into four categories. Class 1 is a polyethylene plank; Class 2 is a polypropylene plank; Class 3 is a general-purpose plank; Class 4 is special purpose class that includes skived sheets or shapes. 

Grade specifies the traits that are given to each class of foam and are broken down into four categories: 

  • Grade A: standard, untreated materials 
  • Grade B: anti-static materials 
  • Grade C: fire retardant materials 
  • Grade D: materials that are both anti-static and fire retardant 

Type refers to the compression creep of a material, which is the permanent deformation when placed under stress. According to the military packaging standards, no piece of foam should have an average creep that exceeds 10 percent of the initial thickness after testing for 168 hours. The types (I, II, III, and IV) specify the load that each material can withstand before exceeding the 10 percent creep limitation. Each type has a maximum load of: 

  • Type I: 14 kg (about 30.86 lbs.) 
  • Type 2: 21 kg (about 46.29 lbs.) 
  • Type 3: 25 kg (about 55.11 lbs.) 
  • Type 4: 37 kg (about 81.57 lbs.) 

Find out more about Amcon equivalent foams based on Military Packaging Specification using this guide. 

Work with a Reliable Foam Fabricator

Amcon has serviced government and military subcontractors for 30 years. We are a current member of the Central Contractor Registration, and we’re familiar with many military specification materials that include FRAS (Fire Resistant Anti-Static) foam options. We can help you find the right foam for your military packaging applications. Whether you’re concerned about compliance, cost, or both, we can be your guide.