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Flame Extension & Flashback

Flammability of Gases

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) defines a flammable gas as a gas having a flammable range in air at 20 °C (68 °F) and at a standard pressure of 101.3 kPa (1 atmosphere). Similar definitions of a flammable gas are found in DOT, IATA and IMDG regulations as well as in the Aerosol Dispensers Directive (2008/47/EC).

Flammability Testing of Aerosol Products 

Aerosol products marketed and sold in the U.S. and Canada are required by law to have labeling identifying the product as “non-flammable,” “flammable,” or “highly flammable” to meet safety standards. Classification of the product is determined through flame extension and flashback testing. The primary aerosol flammability testing method used is the flame extension test. This test involves spraying an aerosol product through a candle flame from a fixed distance of six inches (15cm), and recording the length of the flame projection, if any. A product is considered flammable if a flame extends 18 inches (46 cm) or more, or if the flame flashes back to the actuator, sometimes called “the button.”

Impact Analytical has a state-of-the-art, custom-built test stand allowing for flammability testing of aerosol products of all shapes and sizes. Testing is conducted safely, accurately and with precision so you can accurately label your products.
Impact Analytical also performs a “closed drum test” which is a enclosed space ignition test called for in the Aerosol Dispensers Directive (2008/47/EC) and the GHS. In this advanced flammability test, an aerosol can is sprayed into a 55 gallon (208 liter) drum that is lying horizontally. A lighted candle is positioned inside the drum, midway along the length of the drum. The (spraying) time to ignition, if any, is recorded. The test is repeated three times with three separate cans.

Ignition Distance Testing and Aerosol Foam Flammability Testing are also available as part of Impact Analytical’s flammability testing capabilities. For products sold in Europe, these analyses are carried out in accordance with UNECE Part III.

Impact Analytical also offers enclosed space ignition testing. This testing is required to determine proper labeling of aerosol products as established in the Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) as the UN level. We have custom built test stands for both Ignition Distance and Enclosed Space Ignition Testing that fully comply with all regulations and allow for safe testing and fire safety. We can provide test results and aid in determining labeling requirements.

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