Satra can now help companies ensure the luggage they supply to customers will withstand the rigours of modern travel. This will avoid problems such as leather suitcases bursting open, valuable contents being damaged or even lost — and result in compensation claims.

Satra has developed an extensive range of tests to assess the safety and durability of all forms of luggage during business and holiday travel — such as suitcases, wheeled cases, holdalls, computer cases, briefcases, purses and wallets. These include: resistance to static loading (lifting loaded suitcases by the handle and setting down again).

A more severe ‘snatch’ test involves dropping the loaded case and catching it by the handle before it hits the ground. Dropping a loaded suitcase on each of its corners or wheels and assessing damage to zips, wheels and handles. Trolley handles can be locked in position and compressed until deliberately broken. They can also be tested to resist bending.

The UK technology centre has now introduced a ‘rolling road’ consisting of abrasive materials and metal ridges, over which wheeled luggage can be driven for 25 kilometres. Wheels are examined for abrasion damage, frames for distortion and handles for breakage.

Leather and textiles and coated materials can be assessed for light fastness, tear strength, abrasion resistance, scuffing and snagging and puncture resistance. ‘Some major UK suppliers and retailers have already used our range of tests as they need to be certain that their products are safe and durable enough to prevent at least some holiday calamities’, says Sue Winckle, Satra luggage test expert.