Textile Flammability Specifications and Requirements
May 19, 2015
Fire retardant fabrics, also commonly known as flame retardant fabrics, are textiles resistant to fire, meaning they avoid or slow down any propagation of flames and thus ensure safer environments.
A FR (fire retardant) rating for textiles measures the flammability of a fabric when exposed to a specific source of flame. Certification for FR assures that the fabric passes certain criteria tests allowing them to be used in a variety of environments.
Fabrics can be flame retardant through treatments or coatings. FR fabrics use fibers that are inherently flame retardant without the need for treatment saturate on the surface. Inherently flame retardant fabrics keep their FR rating for the life of the fabric. Treated fabric will see a reduction of flame retardancy over time.
The FR-One symbol on a fabric certifies that the fabric is inherently and permanently flame retardant, meaning that the fabric has not had flame retardant after-treatment, but that the actual fiber of the yarn is flame retardant.
NFPA 701: Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films. This test measures the flammability of a fabric when it is exposed to specific sources of ignition.
NFPA 701 (Small Scale) testing measures the ignition resistance of a fabric after it is exposed to a flame for 12 seconds. The flame, char length, and flaming residue are recorded. The fabric will pass the test if all samples meet the following criteria:
- Flame of less than 2.0 seconds
- Char length of less than 6.5”
- If the specimen does not continue to flame after reaching the floor of the test chamber. Fabric certified as flame retardant is certified to have been tested and passed the NFPA 701 test.
At Thermal Control Products we pride ourselves in researching and acquiring the best fabric available to accommodate our customers in all their FR textile needs and requirements. Please feel free to contact us with any of your specific textile projects.