Why perform a flammability test?
Flammability tests determine how easily a solid product ignites or burns when it is near a heat source or flame. These tests thus characterize the risk of fire spreading through the solid material analysed, whether it is in the form of powder, granules or even paste.
Flammability tests are often carried out to assess the risk of fire associated with the storage or transport of materials. They are therefore essential data for several standards and regulations.
How is a flammability test carried out?
Initially, it is necessary to determine if there is ignition and propagation of combustion. For this, the sample is first deposited on an impermeable, non-combustible and low thermal conductivity plate in the form of an uninterrupted strip or a trail of powder. A source of ignition (flame or or hot wire at more than 1000°C) is then brought closer to one of the ends, and the ignition or the propagation of the combustion must take place over a determined period.
If this first test is conclusive, additional tests can then be carried out to characterize other parameters of the flammability of the solid sample analyzed. For example: propagation speed, minimum ignition energy, etc.
Finally, flammability tests more suited to the conditions of use, storage or transport of the product to be analyzed can be implemented. This is the case, for example, of the diffusion cell test which makes it possible to simulate the conditions of a powder deposit through which a flow of hot air is diffused (silo, bags, etc.).