Comprehensive Flammability Testing
Whether you store, handle or process combustible materials, it is necessary to have all applicable data needed to assess risk at ambient, atmospheric, and process conditions. The flammability properties of gas or vapor atmospheres are often affected by operating and processing conditions such as chemical properties, temperature, pressure, composition of the fuel gas or vapor mixture, concentration of inert gaseous components, concentration of gaseous oxidants, volume and material of construction of the test vessel.
We understand the crucial role of applicable flammability data in understanding, assessing, and managing fire and explosion hazards. We can provide standard flammability data and simulate flammability characteristics under adverse process conditions such as elevated temperature and pressure.
Some of the most frequently requested tests include:
- Limiting Oxygen Concentration (LOC) – The minimum concentration of oxidant capable of supporting combustion can be used to study explosion prevention or explosion severity reduction involving the use of inert gases.
- Flash Point – The flash point of a liquid is the lowest temperature at which enough vapor is evolved to form a flammable mixture in air at standard atmospheric pressure. The flash point provides a simple, convenient index for assessing the flammability of a wide variety of materials.
- Auto-Ignition Temperature – This is the lowest temperature at which a material will spontaneously ignite in the absence of an external ignition source, such as a spark or flame. The auto-ignition temperature can be used to specify operating, storage, and handling procedures for materials.
- Explosion Severity (Pmax and Kg) –Pmax and Kg are explosive properties measured in the laboratory to quantify the severity of a gas/vapor cloud explosion and then are used to design explosion protection measures for process equipment and buildings.
- Flammability Diagram –The effect of oxygen concentration on flammability properties is best represented by plotting a three-component flammability diagram showing the effect of oxygen concentration and inert gas at atmospheric conditions on the flammability of the vapors or gases.
- Minimum Ignition Energy (MIE) - Determines the lowest spark of energy capable of igniting a sample under test conditions. The test is used primarily to assess the potential vulnerability of vapors to electrostatic discharges but is also relevant to frictional sparks.
- Flammability Limits - The upper and lower flammability limits and explosivity limits (UFL & LFL, UEL & LEL) may be used to specify operating, storage, and materials handling procedures. They are particularly useful in specifying ventilation requirements for operations involving flammable liquids and gases.
- Vapor Pressure – Vapor pressure is an indication of a liquid's evaporation rate. A substance with a high vapor pressure at normal temperatures is often referred to as volatile.
- Burning Velocity - Testing is conducted per ISO 817 which is one method in compliance with the ASHRAE Standard 34. This method provides a visual measurement of the burning velocity in a vertical tube.