Windscreen washing fluid is classified as a dangerous substance, which means that the safety of its packaging must be verified by testing and type approval. The fluid contains the following dangerous substances: ethanol, methyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. These are classified in Packing Group II of dangerous substances, where Group I indicates high danger and Group III means low danger.
UN approval is granted based on testing by an inspection body.
Testing ensures that the packaging will endure environmental effects, such as impacts, vibration, heat and chemical ageing. It is also checked that the contents will not leak, and that the packaging material does not have any undesired reactions with the transported substance.
Approved jerrycan containers are labelled with a permanent UN marking.
An approved jerrycan has a visibly placed permanent UN marking stating the dangerous substance it is approved for. Marking on the product label alone is not considered sufficient, as a sticker is not considered a permanent marking.
Testing verifies safety under real conditions
The first stage of the testing of windscreen washing fluid jerrycans is ageing, which prepares the containers for product testing. Ageing is done with glacial acetic acid (99.85% acetic acid) which is the standard liquid for ethanol, methyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol-based substances packaged in jerrycans. During the test, jerrycans are filled with acetic acid and stored at +40°C for 21 days.
Next, they are emptied and rinsed with water in preparation for further testing. Depending on the plastic used, a drop test is performed after freezing the jerrycans at either -18 or -40°C. Other tests include a tightness test, a pressure test as well as a stacking test, where the jerrycans are stacked at +40°C for 28 days. To be approved, the jerrycans must pass all the above-mentioned tests.
The closing device of the jerrycan is an important factor in securing product approval. The jerrycan and its closing device must always be approved together. It is the responsibility of the company filling the jerrycans, such as the windscreen washing fluid manufacturer, to check with the supplier that the jerrycan and its closing device have been tested together. To make sure that the closing device is the one approved with the jerrycan, the manufacturer should purchase both from the jerrycan manufacturer.
Inspection services provided by VTT Expert Services Ltd
VTT Expert Services Ltd is an inspection body for the testing and approval of transport packaging for dangerous substances, approved by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes). Our services include the testing and issuing of UN approval for transport packaging for dangerous substances, as well as quality assurance and periodic inspections.