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Science experiment i'd like to see

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,955 ✭✭✭ BluePlanet

    Here's a science / engineering project i'd like to see.

    This is topical for me atm as i just posted a parcel overseas whose contents were damaged in transit. Maybe this has been done already but anyway:

    The idea is to record the pressures a parcel is subjected to when posted overseas.

    I imagine some battery powered device, with pressure sensitive plates touching all 6 surfaces of a cardboard box. Maintaining a time-stamped record of any pressure changes, or maybe it would have to record only at timed intervals.

    When the parcel reaches it's destination, someone on the other end manually removes and uploads the data.

    I suppose international courier companies like UPS, FedEx probably have done this already? To maintain standards or to audit their delivery lines.

    Anyway, that's it in a nutshell.
    The info could be useful for industry, from cardboard box manufacturing, packaging materials, insurance reasons etc. Or to expose just who the bastards are that are mis-handling yer parcel!


  • Some companies have pressure sensitive stickers that record if a package has been dropped.
    They are used a lot in Myth busters too.

  • There are standards for the transport of most electronic goods, which specify the environmental conditions the packaged goods are expected to face. The standards are usually pretty harsh, but it's up to the electronics manufacturers to design packaging to withstand this. Often there's a fine line between the replacement cost of damaged goods and the cost of shipping extra-safe packages.

    I've seen the Shockwatch sensors invaderjim linked to, but they only give an indication of shocks experienced by the packaging, not the goods themselves. Most of the ones I've seen having been activated through shocks in transport, but the goods were fine as the internal packaging provides plenty of protection.

  • Perhaps a device similar to a black box on a place would do the job. You just need plenty of sensors, e.g. pressure, altitude, attitude, GPS etc in your package, and let the black box record whats happening to them.
    Shouldn't be too hard to do.

  • Hmm... I think Turbulent Bill is right here. Plan for the worst!
    I wonder if there is a chance that an active electronic device fitted with pressure sensitive pads and the like might be considered a "risk" item and be referred to the bomb squad?