07 Oct Textile Fire Testing
Textile Fire Testing.
Two specific characteristics of textiles are normally assessed in textile fire testing. 1) Ease of Ignition and 2) Rate of spread of flame. These tests are normally based on relatively small ignition sources.
Critical aspects are the orientation of the sample, is the flame applied to the surface or the edge of the sample, the size of flame and the time for which it is applied to the sample under test.
The test criteria will determine if the textile will continue to burn slowly or simple go out which is described as ‘self-extinguishing’ but only in the case of a small ignition source being the identified risk.
It is important to understand that the test is limited to the effect of the small ignition source. It gives no indication of reaction in a real fire scenario when effectively a larger ignition source is present and we must presume that burning will occur. The flame retardant effects will be overwhelmed.
In this respect flame retardants are seen as transitory in effect, only being activated when suitable ignition conditions are present.