Packaging . . .Part 4

         Exiting the Methods
of Preservation Maze: Method 40


For several articles now, we’ve walked you through a maze. It’s a maze caused by confusion over the different kinds of military packaging preservation options.

This time we’ll explain packaging preservation Method 40. It’s the fourth possible way to “exit the maze” of packaging preservation choices.

Method 40

     Method 40 requires the use of water- and vapor-proof protection (with preservative, as required).

This method is used for items such as circuit cards that are electrostatic discharge sensitive (ESDS). Make sure that only the correct electrostatic protective materials are used for the wrap and the bag when packaging ESDS items. Follow these steps:

  1. Clean and dry the item.
  2. Select and apply a preservative coating to the item or parts of it. The manufacturer normally applies permanent preservative coatings to ESDS items.
  3. Apply a greaseproof wrap only if a soft, dry preservative was applied to the item.
  4. If greaseproofing is not  required, apply a neutral wrap using a noncorrosive, dust- protective wrap prior to or as part of unit packing. Wrap ESDS items in ESD protective cushioning material. Fast Packs work well. See our in-depth article covering Fast Packs on Pages 56-60, PS 596 (Jul 02):

  1. Place the item (wrapped and cushioned, as required) into a close-fitting, heat-sealed bag that meets specifications listed in MIL-PRF-131, Barrier Materials, Watervaporproof, Greaseproof, Flexible, Heat-Sealable.
  2. Mark the bag in accordance with MIL-STD-129, Military Marking for Shipment and Storage.

You may also be able to exit the maze through Submethod 41. This method  protects metallic and nonmetallic items against deterioration caused by water, water vapor, or natural or industrial contaminates and pollutants.

Items packed by Submethod 41 are generally lightweight and flat. They should be easily inserted into flat or envelope-type bags. Insert the item wrapped and cushioned as necessary into a water- and vapor-proof bag, exhaust the excess air and close the bag.

    Note: If you must use a carton or box with the unit container, place the cushioning specified in the contract or order between the bag and the carton or box. Mark the carton or box the same way as the bag. You’re good to go.

Whether you choose Method 40 or Submethod 41, you need to pay attention to detail. It’s easier if you use the MIL-STD-2073-1, Standard Practice for Military Packaging, as a map for the maze.

If you need guidance, call the packaging experts at the Logistics Support Activity’s Packaging, Storage and Containerization Center at DSN 795- 7105, (570) 615-7105, or email:

    Stay tuned! Next time we’ll look at Method 50.


You can find the publications referenced in this series at:

    The quickest way to find a pub is to enter any numbers from its title (for example, MIL-STD-129 would be ‘129’) into the Document Number search box and then press the Submit button.

MS-4652-A  Method 40


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