UN Ratings: Understanding UN Markings (Part 2 of 3)
When shipping hazardous material, your packaging or container must have the proper UN rating. As explained in our previous article, UN Ratings: Solving The Puzzle, UN ratings were adopted by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure the efficient and safe transportation of hazardous materials internationally. Now that you know why UN ratings are necessary, let's explain how to understand and correctly read the labeling.
As seen below UN ratings can look a little intimidating but once broken up and explained they become quite easy to decipher between.
The UN symbol is a lowercase "u" over a lowercase "n" in a circle or an uppercase "UN."
Packaging Identification Code
The first set of numbers following the UN symbol is known as the Packaging Identification Code. This section consists of the Package Type, Material, and Category.
Package Type (Type of Container)
|B-Aluminum||G-Fiberboard||N-Metal other than Steel/Aluminum|
|1-Closed Head (one molded piece)||2-Open Head (removable lid)|
Packing Group Level Equivalent
Packing Group Level Equivalent section labels what hazard level your product falls under and how dangerous it is.
|X-High Hazard Level||Y-Medium Hazard Level||Z-Low Hazard Level|
|Packing Group l,ll,lll||Packing Group ll,lll||Packing Group lll|
*You can determine which packing group your material falls into by using the HAZMAT Table.
Specific Gravity - is the ratio of the density compared to the density of water at a specific temperature and pressure.
Hydrostatic Pressure Test
Hydrostatic pressure test is a vapor pressure measured in kilopascals (kPa) rounded down to 1 decimal The results to one of the 5 tests required in UN ratings
It is important to note that the above 2 numbers are for labeling liquid material only. When labeling solids you would use the Maximum Gross Mass (kg) instead of Specific Gravity and then a Letter “S” instead of a number for the hydrostatic pressure test. (Refer to figure 1)
Year of Manufacture
The Year of Manufacture refers to the year the packaging was manufactured.
Country of Origin (Location of Manufacture)
The Country of Origin refers to the location where the package was manufactured.
The Manufacture Code is the code for UN certified agency or manufacturer.
UN ratings tell you the description of the container as well as requirements to certify the product that you are packaging. It is very important that the containers are labeled with the correct UN rating.
Now that you know each section of a UN rating you can tell everything about that packaging just by looking at it. If you have any more questions or concerns on the matter we are always available at The Cary Company.