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Introduction to Security Seals

This DOD Application Field Guide is intended to provide the user with basic information concerning the selection and application of security seals.  For more detailed information on security seals used for transportation, consult the User's Guide on Security Seals for Domestic Cargo or contact the DoD Lock Program Technical Support Hotline toll free at (800) 290-7607, or DSN (312) 551-1212.

Security seals are available in many configurations and, for the purpose of comparing the physical properties of security seals, they are grouped ASTM F 1157.  They are further classified by style (i.e. Style A, B, C, D, E, and F) which are further defined by type.  See FF-S-2738, Seals, Antipilferage for more definition.

For AA&E or classified materiel shipments, security seals types 9, 11, 12, or 13 are required and must be stamped "US" to be a DOD approved security seal for transportation.  See our Security Seals Ordering Information page for a list of DOD approved security seals.


Security Seal Types Appropriate for DoD Applications

Style A - Wire Style B - Padlock (keyless) Style C - Strap
Type 1
Type 4
Wire Shackle
Plastic Shackle
Steel Shackle
Type 7
Car/Box End
Car/Ball End
Crimp, Special Marking
Style D - Cable Style E - Bolt Style F - Pull-Up (cinch)
Type 11
One Piece
Two Piece
Type 13 Unthreaded Type 14 Plastic Tie
 NOTE: Lead Crimp type seals are prohibited for DoD use.

Suggested DoD Application of Security Seals by Type

Application Type
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Air Cargo Skids           M L L L   H H H  
Combat Vehicles                     H H    
Crates/Pallets                   M        
Fire Protection L L L L L                 L
Inventory Control L L L L L M L L L M H H H L
Meters L L L L L   L L L         L
Railcars           M L L L   H H H  
Shipping Containers/Milvans           M L L L   H H H  
Trucks/Trailers           M L L L   H H H  
Valves           M L L L   H     L

Strength of Seal for Application: L = low  M = medium  H = high

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