We shipped a container of wet wipes packages by sea and when the container arrived to the port it was unloaded and the packages were verified to be ok.

Then, it was loaded to a truck and shipped to a 2,200 meters (7,200 feet) area in a 8 hours drive.

When the truck unpacked the packages in the final destination all the wet wipes products were explodes and damaged.

It is impossible to send the wet wipes product without air (vacuum) as there is liquid inside the product.

We are aware that the temperature is a fact in the combined gas law so we thought about shipping the container from the port to the destination in a cooling truck.

Do you think it will solve the issue? What will happen when the products will be unloaded from the truck and get the room temperature?

Thanks in advance for your reply.enter image description here

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If at elevation, the package will burst once the pressure gets high enough. Living at 5700 feet elevation, and often going up to 10000 feet or higher, I can say that Lays potato chip bags are awfully darn strong. And one learns to open yogurt containers away from yourself so you don't get a blob of yogurt. You need stronger packaging, tested against altitudes normally seen by your product. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster - Okay, now I'm curious. What's the maximum altitude rating of a Lays potato chip bag? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 13:24
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    $\begingroup$ @honeste_vivere - I've had them in the car in Leadville, CO at over 10,000 feet without an explosion. Plenty of passes higher than that, airplane cabins are generally equivalent to lower altitude than that. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Aug 12, 2020 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


Air pressure at 7000 feet is about 30% less than air pressure at sea level. To keep the volume of the gas in the package constant, you would need to cool it by about 30% on an absolute scale, which corresponds to about 90 degrees Celsius. That's pretty cold.

However, you say there's also liquid inside the packages. For (some liquids)[http://www.ddbst.com/en/EED/PCP/VAP_C11.php], vapor pressure can be quite significant, and it depends strongly on temperature. If the expansion of air inside the package is the main problem, cooling might not help, but cooling could make a big difference if the explosions are driven by evaporation of the liquid.

What happens when you change the pressure even more gradually? What if you found a way to store the wet wipes at 3000' for a while? This article also suggest some solutions, but I'm not sure any would work for you.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your reply. How changing the pressure gradually will help if the product is hermetically closed? $\endgroup$
    – Ady
    Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 0:40
  • $\begingroup$ Real hermetic seals are not perfect. For some value of "gradually enough", the seal will slowly leak until pressure equalizes. The question is whether "gradually enough" means several hours or several months. It's probably easiest to just try it and see what happens. $\endgroup$
    – Daniel
    Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 0:44

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