In general, flammability tests are used to determine the ignition capacity of a textile material in the presence of pure flame, radiant heat, or a combination of both. They concern all textile products, but particularly personal protective equipment, textile materials and products used in the transportation sector.

Exposure to heat and flames to measure the opacity of combustion fumes (ASTM E662)

Evaluation of samples using a calorimetric cone (ASTM E1354)

Radiant Panel Index Rating (ASTM E162)

Our capabilities for assessing the flammability behaviour of materials include several types of measurements:

  • Flame behaviour: damaged length, persistent flame, residual incandescence (ASTM D6413, ISO 15025, CAN/CGSB 4.2 No. 27.10), and flame spread rate (MVSS 302);
  • Heat behavior;
  • Measurement of smoke opacity generated by materials exposed to heat, with or without flames (ASTM E662);
  • Smoke toxicity;
  • Radiant panel ratings (ASTM E162 and ASTM E648);
  • Heat capacity (ASTM E1354 calorimetric cone);
  • Thermal protection factor – flame and radiant heat (ISO 17492, ASTM F2700, and NFPA 1971 and NFPA 2112);
  • Thermal protection factor to flame alone (CAN/CGSB4.2 No. 78.1, ASTM D4108, ASTM F1930 and FlashFireMan™)
  • Thermal protection factor under radiant heat alone (ASTM F1939 and NFPA 1977).

CTT Group has developed a particular expertise in flammability testing adapted for PPE.

Beyond the flammability of the material itself, our tests can determine the thermal protection factor of a garment, which is the amount of heat and the rate at which it passes through a material. This data is of vital importance when it comes to, for example, firefighter clothing (NFPA 1971).

The development of textiles for certain PPE also requires this type of characterization, notably for welders (EN 11611), electricians (NFPA 70E, ASTM F1506) or workers in contact with hydrocarbons (NFPA 2112).

CTT Group has developed a unique flammability dummy to measure heat penetration in a garment, the Flash Fireman®. See it in action in preliminary tests (NFPA 2112 and ASTM F 1930):

NOTE: To facilitate your product development, it is possible for the client to provide us with yarn that we weave or knit with our prototyping equipment in order to make the garment for this test.

Flammability testing also applies to many materials used in the transportation industry, from seat belts to the interior trim of an airplane or subway car. All of these components must meet strict flammability standards.

The tests conducted by CTT Group’s flammability laboratory will, for example, measure the density of smoke released by a burning material (ASTM E662). Again, this is life-saving data since smoke that is too opaque could prevent passengers in a burning subway from finding the emergency exits.

The CTT Group team can also help organizations improve the heat capacity of their products through the use of a calorimetric cone (ASTM E1354) or radiant panel indices (ASTM E162 or ASTM E648 for floor coverings). We can also determine the toxicity of fumes generated by burning materials.

All clothing, especially children’s sleepwear, as well as textile materials for furnishings (mattresses, furniture covers, rugs, carpets, etc.), tents and outdoor canvas shelters, must meet flammability standards under the Canadian Textile Flammability Regulations.

Special requirements, such as CAN/ULC-S109 or NFPA 701, apply to textiles for tents or shelters, and for tensioned or decorative building fabrics. CTT Group can help you develop your products in accordance with these requirements.

We have the expertise and equipment required to perform standardized flammability tests specific to each product. Therefore, we can assist you in your development efforts to ensure that your products comply with standards.

Special tests can also be designed for your specific needs.