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Accelerated & Real-Time Aging

Accelerated aging test chamber at Nelson Labs


What is Accelerated & Real-Time Aging Testing?

The Accelerated Aging Test simulates real-time aging and shelf life by using elevated temperatures to artificially speed up the aging process. Accelerated aging is an optional requirement for testing, but real-time aging is required when establishing an expiration date for a product or product packaging.

Real-time aging Testing is performed at normal storage conditions in ‘real-time’. The product in its packaging is placed on a shelf and exposed to normal storage condition fluctuations such as temperature and humidity changes. Additional testing is performed after aging to access the packaging and/or product performance.

Why is Aging Testing Important?

Real-Time and Accelerated aging is important to determine the efficacy of product packaging over time. It is crucial that this shelf-life testing be performed to ensure the safeguarding of consumer health as a products intended use can be altered by a long shelf-life or changes in storage conditions. These tests push product packaging to the limit to expose potential issues that arise during shelf-life time.

Although not required, accelerated aging testing is beneficial for a products speed to market. An accelerated aging test can not only be used to beat a competitor to addressing a market demand, but also be utilized to get products into patients hands as fast as possible. In many instances it is necessary for a product to reach patient hands without delay and in rare cases their lives rely on receiving this product. Accelerated aging testing enables manufacturers to provide patients with their products swiftly while maintaining the quality and safety of their product. Our testing is done in conformance with criteria from:

  • ISO 11607
  • ASTM F1980

At Nelson Labs, we also provide Shelf-Life Packaging studies to evaluate packaging material and the use of the product in a hospital or clinical situation. This testing is done in conformance with criteria from ISO 11607.


Study Outline

The Accelerated Aging test can be run to simulate a designated time period ranging from 1 month to 5 years (or longer). The time of simulated aging depends on the temperature at which the products are held. For example, at 55°C using an ambient temperature of 25°C, 6.5 weeks is equivalent to 1 year on the shelf. So at these parameters, 13.0 weeks would be equivalent to 2 years on the shelf and 32.5 weeks would be equivalent to 5 years on the shelf.

After the samples have been aged, they are removed from the chamber and brought back to room temperature. Following the aging, the samples can be returned to you for further examination (such as functionality tests), or we will retain the samples to perform additional testing to confirm stability (i.e., package integrity/microbial aerosol barrier challenge, seal peel, or other physical tests).

Recommended replicates: You may age as many samples as you need. The number of samples should be based on the number of time periods to be examined, and the testing to be performed after aging.

Please use the Accelerated Aging Parameters form along with the Sample Submission Form when submitting samples.

Testing Locations

  • Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  • Fairfield, NJ, USA
  • Somercotes, England

To learn more about these locations and their certifications, click here.

Contact Us

If you have additional questions about Accelerated Aging testing services, or would like to consult with the experts at Nelson Labs, just send us a request or call us at +1 (801) 290-7500.