Fretwork | Testing for Upholstery and Mattresses
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Testing for Upholstery and Mattresses

Testing for Upholstery and Mattresses

STUART has noticed so-called “new materials” being promoted as capable of meeting the REQUIREMENTS of the FFR WITHOUT the use of flame retardants.

These types of product do exist. We know because such materials have passed through the processing of members of our FCOGP Group. They are prepared so as to be free of textile processing aids (that may affect fire testing performance) but do not receive any chemical treatment to reduce ignitability when tested according to the requirements of the FFR.

There are, however, materials being put forward for use in the bedding market and extreme care must be shown when discussing such products and UPHOLSTERY in the context of the FFR. For those who do not understand this point we can confirm that the way the testing is made is all important and understanding the differences between the FFR for upholstery and the Regulations as applied to mattresses is very different – but in a quite subtle way.

The FFR (for UPHOLSTERY) and Mattresses diverge very precisely in Article 2 item 4 of the FFR when certain combinations of filling materials are defined as being tested according to a quite different standard to Upholstery.

2 Points follow from this:

1    Mattresses do not have the same design and style demands that are necessary for the upholstery market and more specifically they do not have an outer cover that is protective of a flammable filling.

2    Presuming that because a combination of fillings and cover material is OK for mattresses does not mean they will meet the requirements of the FFR. It may be debatable if a Mattress made from a foam filling (which must meet the same FFR requirements) actually meets the description of a Mattress composite filling as required in the FFR.

Some of the mattress materials referred to during the EACOM Inquiry produce results according to FFR testing that are ALARMING as has been found by those who understand these things and are prepared to test the ideas.

Confusing such issues only misleads and demonstrates a lack of understanding of the Regulations.

STUART is not impressed.

Peter Wragg
Peter Wragg
pjw@fretwork.org.uk
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