Custom Case Glossary

COME ACROSS A TERM YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND?

Come across a term you didn't understand? We've put together a list of common custom case industry terms and definitions to help you at least sound like a packaging engineer.

ABS
A type of plastic often used in thermoformed custom plastic cases. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene.
ACX Plywood
The designation given to an exterior-grade plywood panel with one sanded face and one rough face, commonly used in wood/composite custom case construction. The “A” represents the front face, and indicates that it’s a high-quality smooth face. The “C” represents the back face, which can be rougher and un-sanded. The “X” indicates that the plywood has an exterior rating.
Anti-Static Foam
Foam with anti-static properties, which can be important when cushioning sensitive electronics which could be damaged by electrostatic shock.
ATA Rated
A rating that most commonly refers to the ATA (Air Transport of America) trade association’s Spec 300, regulations which establish guidelines for effective packaging standards for equipment being shipped by airlines. For example, Spec 300 states that a container be able to withstand a minimum of 100 shipments and be coated with non-corrosive products.
Cushioning Curve
A curve used to represent the cushioning and shock absorption properties of foam or other cushioning media in a case. The curves are generated by dropping specific weights on a sample of foam, and measuring the g-forces experienced by the weight.
EPS Foam
Expanded Polystyrene, a type of foam commonly used in custom case applications where cost is a primary concern.
G-Factor
A number used to assign a specific fragility to an item being packaged. The maximum amount of g-forces that a piece of equipment can experience without sustaining any damage.
G-Force
A measurement of acceleration, used as weight. Used in foam packaging to measure the shock felt by a piece of equipment from various drop-heights.
Injection Molding
A plastic manufacturing process where heated plastic is injected into a cavity mold, producing a strong, pliable and shock-resistant plastic sheet. Often used in plastic case manufacturing applications with high quantities.
IP65
A waterproofing and environmental sealing rating. The first two letters stand for “Ingress Protection”. The next two numbers represent the level of protection offered. The “6” indicates that a case protects from dust, and the “5” indicates that the case has been tested to offer protection from water jets hitting it from all directions.
IP66
A waterproofing and environmental sealing rating. The first two letters stand for “Ingress Protection”. The next two numbers represent the level of protection offered. The first “6” indicates that a case protects from dust, and the second “6” indicates that the case has been tested to offer protection from powerful water jets hitting it from all directions.
IP67
A waterproofing and environmental sealing rating. The first two letters stand for “Ingress Protection”. The next two numbers represent the level of protection offered. The “6” indicates that a case protects from dust, and the “7” indicates that it’s been tested to be waterproof for a minimum of 30 minutes when submerged in water at up to 1 meter.
IP68
A waterproofing and environmental sealing rating. The first two letters stand for “Ingress Protection”. The next two numbers represent the level of protection offered. The “6” indicates that a case protects from dust, and the “8” indicates that the case is suitable for continuous immersion, up to a depth specified by the manufacturer.
Polyethylene Foam (HDPE)
A closed-cell foam often used for shock absorption in custom cases. Available with anti-static properties.
Thermoforming
A plastic manufacturing process where a sheet of plastic is heated to pliability, then pressed against a single-sided mold to produce a 3D, shock-resistant plastic part. Often used in plastic case manufacturing applications with low to medium quantities.