Testing beauty product packaging – ensuring functionality and form

  • Mecmesin

Beauty may be more than skin deep, however brand reputation and loyalty in this market can very much depend on the outer packaging - failure to open, inform, dispense or re-seal with the expected qualities, may discourage the customer from experiencing the product within. For such a design-led industry, guaranteeing optimum functionality and form requires quantifiable test methods to measure these attributes.

In addition, due to the manner of use and application of products of this nature, cosmetics packaging must adhere to strict regulatory standards.

Reliable sealing and ease of opening needs regular testing

Mecmesin specialises in test equipment and solutions which enable packaging manufacturers and suppliers to perform their own quality assurance testing right from the R&D stage through to point of production. Testers range from simple, manually operated instruments up to computer-controlled, automated and customised systems. Whether the requirement is to compress, push, pull, squeeze, bend, snap or twist a raw material or a final component, there is an appropriate tester to simulate the action and record the result.

Raw materials used for packaging must have the right strength and flexibility

The OmniTest™ Universal Testing Machine (UTM) is able to perform stress and strain analysis of material specimens to measure their ultimate strength for suitability under the demands of protection and containment. Performing crush testing of primary, secondary and tertiary packaging is used to check that the manufactured design will enable the product to arrive at the customer and remain intact when subjected to regular usage.

As with most packaging systems, testing requirements also focus on the joints and connections - elements designed to access the contents. Closures must open with ease and re-seal if required, whilst remaining leak-free. In order to most accurately and repeatedly measure the removal torque on a screw lid which may deform when grasped, Mecmesin recommends a custom mandrel to the exact dimensions of the closure. Security considerations may be incorporated via tamper evident designs and testers are available which can record the specific effort needed to breach this element of the closure, in addition to the torque to initially release the lid. Mecmesin offers the CAPTEST specifically for cleanroom conditions – an off-the-shelf solution for cosmetics and pharma screw top closure container systems.

A digital cap removal torque tester to cleanroom standards is ideal in the beauty closure QC lab

Single-use sachets can be tested to tear predictably along a crease or perforation propagating from a cut-out notch, and the same machine is often suitable to perform peel testing - to verify low efforts to open a pouch or a tamper evident induction seal, or higher peel resistance loads in the case of labelling.

Testing pull-out resistance and ease of peel with the same force tester

Beauty packaging frequently incorporates a means of dispensing and application - propelling barrels, retracting brushes, pumps, sprays, and rollers - often this feature being part of the closure.

Measuring dispenser actuation force and cap twist-off / disassembly resistance torque

The challenge here is combining attractive and innovative style with a broad spectrum of functionality objectives: light handling for precise application, as in mascara tubes and brushes; attractively-curved lotion containers which fit the hand ergonomically, lipsticks requiring very light rotational torque and others where the emphasis is on maximum strength in a lightweight package, for daily use.

A lipstick barrel should operate under delicate rotational forces, whatever the supplier - or colour

With appropriate fixtures to securely locate the sample and grip the moving part of the assembly, any of these performance criteria can be measured and compared to internal best practice benchmarks, to maintain a competitive advantage, or international standards to assure compliance…beautifully.

See also

Mecmesin OmniTest machine demo by the Duchess of Sussex at University of Chichester Tech Park opening

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex officially opened the University of Chichester’s new Engineering and Digital Technology Park on 3rd October 2018. Part of the tour of the £35million development, based at the Bognor Regis campus, was a visit to the Department of Engineering and Design. The laboratory features several Mecmesin force measurement machines, notably a 50 kN OmniTest Universal Testing Machine (UTM); a state-of-the-art software-controlled materials testing system.

Methods of force and torque testing for food packaging quality

Packaging solutions for food are incredibly diverse; in all aspects of physical design, mechanical function and aesthetic appeal. Their purpose is more straightforward: be safe, secure, yet easy to open, close or reliably re-seal; dispense cleanly and efficiently; minimise loss and waste; maximise shelf life; be cost-effective to manufacture and ultimately recycle or dispose of. Add to that, the consumer desire for attractive and innovative new designs, and the straightforward ultimate purpose can become quite involved in terms of meeting each individual challenge.

Mecmesin white paper: Force testing in medical tubing

Plastic medical tubing is central to the provision of effective health care in the 21st century. It is essential for the delivery of blood, nutrients and gases to the patient, and for the execution of minimally invasive surgical procedures such as cardiac angioplasty, which have proliferated widely over recent years. This article examines four force testing procedures for plastic medical tubing and explores the benefits and methodological considerations of each.

Universal testing machine range (0.5 - 5 kN)

Mecmesin offers a wide range of universal testing machines (UTM) for tension and compression testing. At the top end, our MultiTest-i systems are driven by the powerful Emperor™ control and analysis software on a separate PC, while our production-level testers in the MultiTest-xt series offer touch-screen ease of use and rapid processing. All of these systems give fully programmed control and accurate, repeatable testing, with test libraries for instant recall.

  • Mike Webber
  • Product Info
  • English
  • Created 16 Oct 2017
  • Modified 30 Sep 2019
  • Hits 991