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TEST METHODS: >> Barrier Test Method

BARRIER TEST METHOD--1990

I. BACKGROUND

To participate in the UFAC Voluntary Action Program, upholstered furniture manufacturers must agree to produce their furniture in accordance with the basic UFAC construction criteria. In order to identify component materials which meet the UFAC requirements, a test method is needed to define acceptable performance in each criterion.

II. SCOPE

This test method is intended to define the minimum performance level for barrier materials to be used between Class II cover fabrics and conventional polyurethane foam in horizontal seating surfaces. No consideration is given in this test methodology to such necessary attributes as flex life, longevity and maintenance of aesthetics.

III. GENERAL PROCEDURE

Vertical and horizontal panels are assembled on a small-scale test assembly using UFAC Standard polyurethane foam as the substrate. The Standard UFAC Type II cover fabric is used as the covering. The barrier material to be tested is placed between the cover fabric and the polyurethane substrate in both vertical and horizontal panels. A lighted cigarette is placed in the crevice formed by the abutment of vertical and horizontal panels and a piece of sheeting material is used to cover the cigarette. The cigarette is allowed to burn its entire length unless an obvious ignition occurs. Test observations and measurements are recorded. A minimum of three individual specimens is required for each barrier material sample tested.

IV. DEFINITIONS

  1. IGNITION: Continuous, self-sustaining smoldering combustion of upholstered furniture substrates after exposure to burning cigarettes.

  2. OBVIOUS IGNITION: Pronounced continuous and self-sustaining combustion of the test system. Determination is a matter of operator judgment based upon experience in this type of testing.

  3. SAMPLE: Barrier material being tested.

  4. SPECIMEN: Individual piece of sample used in one test assembly.

  5. CHAR: Area of fabric which is destroyed or degraded from face to back, not including the area which is only discolored by smoke.

V. TEST MATERIALS

  1. IGNITION SOURCE: The ignition source for all tests shall be cigarettes without filter tips made from natural tobacco, 85 2 mm (3.3 0.1 in) long and with a packing density of 0.27 0.02 g/cm3 (0.16 0.01 oz/in3) and a total weight of 1.1 0.1 g (0.039 0.004 oz).
                                                                       - April 1, 1990

  2. SHEETING MATERIAL: 100% cotton bed sheeting material, weight 125 28 g/m (3.7 0.8 oz/yd ), white in color, and not treated with flame retardants, shall be used to cover test cigarettes. For testing, the fabric is cut into squares 127 x 127 mm (5.0 x 5.0 in).

  3. COVER FABRIC: Cover fabric shall be 100% bright regular rayon, scoured, 20/2, ring spun, basket weave construction, 271 12 g/m (8.0 0.5 oz/yd): UFAC Standard Type II Cover Fabric. This material can be obtained from several commercial sources.

  • From the standard cover fabric cut three 203 x 381 mm (8.0 x 15.0 in) pieces for vertical panels and three 203 x 254 mm (8.0 x 10.0 in) pieces for horizontal panels.

  1. POLYURETHANE FOAM SUBSTRATE: Polyether type polyurethane foam which meets the requirements of the UFAC Filling/Padding Components Test Method--1990, containing no inorganic fillers or flame retardants, having a density of 24.0 1.6 kg/m (1.5 0.1 lb/ft): UFAC Standard Polyurethane Foam. This material can be obtained from several commercial sources.

  • Substrate shall be cut into pieces 203 x 203 x 51 mm (8.0 x 8.0 x 2.0 in) for vertical panels and 127 x 203 x 51 mm (5.0 x 8.0 x 2.0 in) for horizontal panels.

  • Each panel shall be hand crushed before use by wadding or balling up one time in the fist.

  1. TEST ROOM: The test room shall be draft protected and equipped with a suitable system for exhausting smoke and noxious gases produced during testing.

  2. FIRE EXTINGUISHER: A pressurized water fire extinguisher or other suitable fire safety equipment shall be immediately available in the test room.

  3. WATER BOTTLE AND WATER BUCKET: A water bottle fitted with a spray nozzle shall be provided to extinguish any ignited portions of the test apparatus or components. A water bucket shall be provided for immersing smoldering or burning materials removed from the test apparatus or components.

  4. SCALE: A linear scale graduated in millimeters or tenths of an inch shall be used to measure char length.

  5. OTHER APPARATUS: In addition to the above enumerated items, straight pins, a knife or scissors, a staple gun and staples, and tongs are required to perform the testing.

VI. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

1. TEST APPARATUS:

  • The specimen holder shall consist of two wooden panels, each nominal 203 x 203 mm (8.0 x 8.0 in) and nominal 19 mm (0.75 in) thickness, joined together at one edge. As shown in Figure I, a moveable horizontal panel support is positioned on a centrally located guide.

TEST APPARATUS (Click here to view)

2. SAMPLE REQUIREMENTS:

  • For each barrier material, three 203 x 305 mm (8.0 x 12.0 in) specimens for vertical panels and three 203 x 203 mm (8.0 x 8.0 in) specimens for horizontal panels are required. Specimens are to be tested in the thickness to be used in furniture construction.

3. SPECIMEN MOUNTING:

  • Place a vertical barrier specimen over the face of each of the 203 x 203 x 51 mm (8.0 x 8.0 x 2.0 in) UFAC Standard Polyurethane Foam substrates. Over each, attach a 203 x 381 mm (8.0 x 15.0 in) piece of UFAC Standard Type II Cover Fabric and fasten it in place with pins as shown. Place the assembled vertical panels in the specimen holder.

  • Reduce the five-inch dimension of each horizontal UFAC Standard Polyurethane Foam substrate by an amount equal to 75% of the thickness of the barrier sample being tested. This will prevent the formation of large air gaps under the crevice in the assembled specimen holder. Place a horizontal barrier specimen over each shortened piece of horizontal polyurethane substrate. The top surface of the substrate must be completely covered, and the specimen must continue over the crevice edge to partially cover the bottom surface. Over the composite place the horizontal cover fabric 203 x 254 mm (8.0 x 10.0 in) and fasten in place with pins. See Figure III.
     

BTM--1990
April 1, 1990

  • Place each assembled horizontal panel in the specimen holder and slide the movable carriage toward the vertical panel until firm contact is achieved across the entire crevice formed by vertical and horizontal panels. No severe deformation of either panel should be evident.

VII. TEST PROCEDURE

  1. TESTING PRECAUTIONS: THE GASEOUS PRODUCTS OF SMOLDERING COMBUSTION ARE TOXIC. LARGE AMOUNTS OF CARBON MONOXIDE AND OTHER NOXIOUS GASES ARE PRODUCED BY SMOLDERING ORGANIC MATTER. TESTS SHOULD BE CONDUCTED IN A FUME HOOD OR ROOM PROVIDED WITH ADEQUATE MEANS FOR REMOVAL OF TOXIC FUMES.

  2. CONDITIONING: All test specimens, cover fabrics and test materials (including polyurethane, cigarettes and sheeting material) shall be conditioned at a temperature of 21 3 C (70 4 F) and between 50% and 66% relative humidity for at least four hours prior to testing. If the test room conditions do not meet the specifications above for the conditioning room, then testing must be initiated within ten minutes after the specimens are removed from the conditioning room.

  3. AIR VELOCITY: Zero airflow at the test surface is desirable, indicated by a minimum vertical smoke plume of 152 mm (6.0 in). A draft-preventive enclosure to restrict airflow to convection only is required. See Figure II.

  4. CONDUCTING THE TEST:

  • Each loaded specimen holder shall be placed on a table in the draft-preventive enclosure. Light three cigarettes and place one cigarette on each of the three test assemblies such that the cigarette lies in the crevice and against the vertical panel, equally spaced from each side. Immediately cover the cigarette with a piece of sheeting material, smoothing it over the cigarette to insure intimate contact. A finger run over the covered cigarette insures good fabric-to-cigarette contact. Pin top edge of sheeting to the vertical panel approximately 50 mm (2.0 in) above the cigarette.

  • Each cigarette is allowed to burn its entire length unless an obvious ignition occurs; otherwise, the test is considered valid when either (1) a cigarette has burned its entire length on each of the three individual test specimens or (2) three cigarettes have self-extinguished on the sample. A self-extinguished cigarette shall be replaced with a freshly lighted cigarette and covered with sheeting until either (1) or (2) above are met. Replacement cigarettes shall be located on an uncharred area of the specimen or on a new test assembly.

  1. TEST OBSERVATIONS:

  • If an obvious ignition occurs on any one of the three specimens, extinguish the smoldering materials, record the results of the test and test three additional specimens.

  • If no ignition occurs, measure the maximum height of the char on the vertical panel upward from the original crevice to the nearest 2 mm (0.1 in).

VIII. TEST CRITERIA

After removal of the sheeting cigarette cover cloth, leave the assembly intact while making char measurements.

  1. If all test specimens have no ignition, or if the vertical char of each is less than 38 mm (1.5 in) upward from the crevice, the test material passes.

  2. If one test specimen has a vertical char equal to or greater than 38 mm (1.5 in), test three additional specimens.

  • If all three additional specimens have vertical char of less than 38 mm (1.5 in), the material passes.

  • If one additional specimen has a vertical char equal to or greater than 38 mm (1.5 in), record a failure of the test material.

BTM1990
3- April 1, 1990

  1. If two or more original test specimens have a vertical char of 38 mm (1.5 in) or more, record a failure of the test material.

IX. REVIEW

This test procedure is subject to review, modification, and improvement. Please submit any suggestions, in writing, to:

UFAC CENTRAL
BOX 2436
HIGH POINT, NC 27261

A list of commercial sources of standard test materials can be obtained from UFAC Central.

BTM1990
April 1, 1990


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