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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.” Classification of the product is determined through flame extension and flashback testing. The primary aerosol flammability test used is the ASTM D 3065, or 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 the analysis 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 can perform testing per the Canadian, European and U.S. guidelines.

Impact Analytical also performs a “closed drum test” which is, essentially, the same as the enclosed space ignition test called for in the Aerosol Dispensers Directive (2008/47/EC) and the GHS. In this 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.

As part of Impact Analytical’s flammability testing abilities, Ignition Distance Testing and Aerosol Foam Flammability testing can also be performed. These analyses are performed under UNECE Part III for products sold in Europe.

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