A.1 This test procedure prescribes methods for
examining the ignitability, in defined circumstances, of an assembly
of upholstery materials. These materials are combined together in
a way intended to be generally representative of their end use in
upholstered seating, and the ignition sources are a smouldering cigarette
and a flame representing a burning match.
Thus, the potential ignitability of a particular cover,
filling and interliner in combination can be assessed and this will
allow the development of specifications concerned with ignition by
smokers' materials. However, there are two important limitations,
(a) The tests are concerned only with ignitability,
and any controls of fire hazard have to consider, in addition, other
aspects of fire performance such as rate of fire development, heat
output, rate and quantity of smoke production and toxic gas evolution.
Ideally, any attempts to reduce ignitability ought not to affect these
other properties adversely.
(b) The tests only measure the ignitability of
a combination of materials used in upholstered seating and not of
a particular finished item of furniture incorporating these materials.
They give an indication of, but cannot guarantee, the ignition behaviour
of the finished item of furniture. This limitation occurs because
design features of the furniture can greatly affect its fire properties;
any ignitability tests of a piece of furniture would therefore need
to be carried out on the actual item and not on component materials
or mock-ups. However, limited information on ignitability more specifically
related to an intended design may be obtained, as indicated in A.2
A.2 This test procedure prescribes laboratory
tests for an assembly of materials which will give general guidance
on the ignitability of finished furniture, but where more specific
information is required, or in critical areas of end use, the principles
may be applied to complete items or components of furniture or to
suitably modified test assemblies, some examples of which are given
below. In such cases the sources of ignition described in 5.2 and 5.3 may be applied at positions which, as a general rule, correspond
to those where the hazard of ignition occurs in use.
If a chair were to have a gap between the seat and back
cushions, the placement of ignition sources in the angle of the test
apparatus would be inappropriate. Instead, face ignition, where the
sources are placed at the centre of the horizontal and vertical surfaces,
would be more meaningful.
The test apparatus may be used to model the junction of
any vertical and horizontal surfaces so that both arm and back constructions,
if different, may be tested separately in conjunction with the seat.
If, in the final design, a loose cushion is to be placed
on an upholstered seat platform, additional cigarette traps are produced
between the loose cushion and the surrounding upholstery. This may
be examined by constructing a loose cushion of the appropriate materials
measuring 500 ± 5 mm x 75 ± 2 mm to be placed on top
of the horizontal surface of the normally assembled test arrangement.
A.3 Another way in which this test principle might
be used is to give information about individual materials to be used
in a combination. For example, the ability of a cover material to
provide protection against ignition can be indicated by testing it
in combination with a substrate of known flammability; standard non-flame-retardant
flexible polyether foam with a density of about 22 kg/m3 has
been found to be suitable. Such information about the individual materials
does not eliminate the need to test the actual combination, but it
can help in the short-listing of material combinations and so reduce
the overall amount of testing required.