Standardization News

Proposed Test for Flame-Resistant Clothing

ASTM International’s personal protective clothing and equipment committee (F23) is developing a standard (WK70964) that outlines a new way to evaluate flame-resistant clothing.

According to members of the group, the proposed test method could help predict the potential for burn injuries for various materials used in garments and ensembles.

ASTM International member Brian Shiels, a senior consultant at ArcWear, says the purpose of the proposed standard will be to bridge a gap between two existing protective-clothing standards. One of those (F2700) uses a single sensor to measure protective properties of a small, flat swatch of fabric when exposed to heat and flame.  The other (F1930) employs more than 120 sensors to measure protective properties of an entire coverall garment on a full-size instrumented manikin.

Shiels explains that the instrument design in the proposed standard uses 15 sensors embedded in a cylindrical form that is exposed to heat and flame. “While the human form is quite complex, it is essentially a series of cylinders,” says Shiels. “So, a simple bench-scale test that exposes a cylinder to flash fire will provide more accuracy in testing.” 

Anyone is welcome to join ASTM International’s personal protective clothing and equipment committee. Become a member of ASTM. The committee’s next meeting is February 4 – 5, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

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