What is flame spread?
Flame spread describes how far and how fast flames spread on the surface of a material. It is a measure of how quickly people are trapped by a developing fire. A large flame spread causes a small and localised fire to develop into a large fire. Flame spread is therefore one of the most important fire risks that must be limited.
Range of services of our fire laboratory
In our fire laboratory we can carry out various tests of flame spread. We cover a wide range of fire scenarios, testing techniques and sample orientations.
The fire scenarios range from exposure to an open flame to irradiation with a heat emitter. An irradiance of e.g. 50 kW/m² simulates a developing fire in the vicinity of the test material, which is comparable to a burning waste paper basket at a distance of one metre.
To evaluate the flame spread, in some tests the speed of the flame front on the material surface is recorded - usually in millimetres per minute. In other tests, the distance a flame front travels until it extinguishes itself is evaluated - starting from the ignition source at one end of the sample or from the simulated developing fire. From this point, a residual irradiance in kilowatts per square metre is assigned to the heat flux profile. The flame spread is then 38 cm, for example, and this corresponds to 20 kW/m².
What are the advantages of flame spread tests?
With flame spread tests, we can evaluate the ability of your materials to prevent fire development or to delay it to such an extent that people can bring themselves to safety. This requirement is placed on materials used in rail vehicles, ships or motor vehicles. Use our flame spread tests and obtain the necessary proof with our test reports that your materials comply with the required limits for flame spread.