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TEST METHODS: >> Welt Cord Test Method

WELT CORD 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 identify welt cording which is suitable for use in seats, backs and pillows in UFAC approved constructions for reduction of the likelihood of cigarette ignition.

III. GENERAL PROCEDURE

Welt cording to be tested shall be placed into the center of a piece of UFAC Standard Type II Cover Fabric which is folded to make an unsewn welt. The unsewn welt is placed into the crevice formed by the abutment of vertical and horizontal panels of the small-scale test assembly. A lighted cigarette, covered by a piece of sheeting material is placed on the welt and against the vertical panel of the test assembly and allowed to burn its entire length, unless an obvious ignition occurs. Char is measured on the vertical panel from the top of the welt. A minimum of three individual specimens is required for each welt cord 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: Welt cord 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).

  2. SHEETING MATERIAL: 100% cotton bed sheeting material, weight 125 ± 28 g/m2 (3.7 ± 0.8 oz/yd2), 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/m2 (8.0 ± 0.5 oz/yd2): 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 Component Test Method--1990, containing no inorganic fillers or flame retardants, having a density of 24.0 ± 1.6 kg/m3 (1.5 ± 0.1 lb/ft3): 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)

  1. SAMPLE REQUIREMENTS: Three 203 mm (8.0 in) specimens of welt cording are required for each welt cord sample tested.

  2. SPECIMEN MOUNTING:

  • Vertical panels shall be prepared for test by wrapping a 203 x 203 x 51 mm (8.0 x 8.0 x 2.0 in) piece of polyurethane with a 203 x 381 mm (8.0 x 15.0 in) piece of UFAC Standard Type II Cover Fabric as shown in Figure III. Straight pins shall be used to attach the cover fabric to the polyurethane substrate.

  • Horizontal panels shall be prepared by wrapping a 127 x 203 x 51 mm (5.0 x 8.0 x 2.0 in) polyurethane panel with the 203 x 254 mm (8.0 x 10.0 in) cover fabric around one edge as shown in Figure III. Straight pins shall be used to attach the cover fabric to the polyurethane substrate.

  • Welt cording shall be centered in the short dimension of a piece of cover fabric whose dimensions shall be 203 mm (8.0 in) by a width sufficient to allow two 13 mm (0.5 in) "tails" to extend below the welt. The cover fabric is folded around the welt cord to make an unsewn welt.

  • The vertical panel is placed in the test apparatus and the wrapped edge of the horizontal panel is placed against it. The welt cord to be tested is folded into the welt fabric and placed in the apparatus such that the fabric ends are between the vertical and horizontal panels and held tightly in place by the panels. See Figure III.

VII. TEST PROCEDURE

  1. TESTING PRECAUTIONS: THE GASEOUS PRODUCTS OR 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 38mm (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 a vertical char of less than 38 mm (1.5 in) the test 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.

  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. 


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