In the First Place, Why Test?
Manufacturers must subject their products to various sorts of testing to abide by the government regulations and industry standards that dictate safety and quality guidelines. Important among these safety and quality concerns is the product’s flammability; established standards determine the appropriate flammability resistance for products’ various constituent materials. These characteristics are observed, measured, and deemed appropriate for use by conducting a flammability test. These examinations are performed by third-party testing facilities, like Applied Technical Services, Inc. We are A2LA accredited to perform many types of flammability testing.
About Flammability Testing in General
Different materials require different flammability tests. Because a single product can be made of many distinct materials, the whole item is usually subjected to flammability testing only when conducting a failure analysis – determining why a product did not perform to expectations when exposed to fire. If the test is instead being performed to ensure materials conform to regulations and standards before production, an ATS technician will apply an appropriate test considering which material she or he is examining. Most tests typically entail introducing the sample material to an open flame for a certain amount of time. This process will yield burn characteristics, including:
- Whether the sample material burned
- How much of it burned
- How long it burned after the flame was removed
- How long the material glowed from heat after the flame was removed
- Whether the sample dripped any burning material
- Whether the material displayed any unusual phenomena (warping, melting, etc.)
ATS technicians will use this information to provide results to the clients. Depending on the applicable test method or industry standard, the results may include giving the material a pass/fail status or assigning the material to a classification.