- Flame Retardants
In these sectors, stringent fire safety requirements consider the risk of an initiating fire. These demands are significantly met by the use of flame retardatns in plastics and other combustible products. In the following, some examples of tests required for determining their reaction to fire are given.
In the European Union (EU), a classification system for the reaction to fire of construction products – the Euroclasses – and the related tests allow the rating of these products (including the plastics used therein) into the various Euroclasses. What Euroclasses are requested for the different applications in building, is not decided by the EU, but prescribed in the national fire regulations of the Member States.
Construction products with low safety requirements are tested in the small flame test to EN 11925-2.
Small flame test to EN 11925-2:
Very high fire safety requirements apply for construction products tested in the Single Burning Item Test to EN 13823 (panels 1.5 x 1 m and 1.5 x 0.5 m in corner configuration).
In this sector, the most important tests are the flammability tests for consumer and office electronics as well as technical parts, and the glow wire tests for appliances.
Glow wire test to IEC 60695-2-10:
Demanding requirements apply for fire protection, regarding reaction of fire, smoke development and toxicity of materials and components used in rail vehicles and ships. The testing procedures used there are valid for both rail vehicles and ships.
The flame propagation test to 5658-2 is described in prCEN/TS 45545-2 for rail vehicles and in IMO FTP Code Part 5 for ships.
The testing of smoke development and toxicity of materials and components is done in the smoke chamber to ISO 5659-2 and described in prCEN/TS 45545-2 for rail vehicles and in IMO FTP Code Part 2 for ships.
The decomposition gases are tested to the following toxic components:
CO, HF, HCl, HCN, NO2, and SO2. For railway applications, CO2 and HBr are determined in addition.
Upholstered furniture in private homes must meet stringent fire safety requirement in the UK and Ireand. According to BS 5852-2, the items are fire tested with a smoldering cigarette, then with a small flame and finally with wood cribs as ignition sources of growing energy.