ASTM D1230-17: Standard Test Method for Flammability of Apparel Textiles has been released. The test method detailed in this standard evaluates the flammability of consumer textile fabrics. It is applicable to apparel items other than children’s sleepwear or protective clothing.
Fire testing is necessary for assessing factors, such as burn time, flame-spread time, and flammability, as well as others, that can influence the potential for apparel to erupt in flames and the capability for that ignition to cause serious harm. However, while fire testing ultimately limits the flame-related hazards of consumer clothing, the process itself is inherently hazardous for those conducting the testing. Therefore, adequate safeguards for both personnel and property should be employed.
While both cover flammability testing of consumer textile fabrics, the test method of ASTM D1230-17 is not identical to that of 16 CFR Part 1610, Flammability of Clothing Textiles. The 16 CFR Part 1610 regulation includes a test in which a sample specimen, cut from the textile, is inserted into a frame and held in a special apparatus as it is exposed to a standard flame under specified conditions. Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations require that clothing fabrics introduced into commerce meet the requirements of the CFR.
The test method in ASTM D1230-17 involves inserting a specimen into a frame, drying it in an oven and placing it into a desiccator before testing. This framed specimen is held in the flammability tester at a 45-degree angle, and a standardized flame is applied to the surface near the lower end. The time required for the flame to travel up the fabric at a specified distance is recorded.
ASTM D1230-17 testing establishes three classes of textiles: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. These are ordered in increasing flammability, with Class 3 textiles being considered unsuitable for apparel.
Since Federal regulations require apparel fabrics to meet the criteria of 16 CFR Part 1610, the ASTM D1230-17 test method cannot be recommended for acceptance testing of commercial shipments. However, it is useful because it provides a method to test general non-regulated textile fabrics.
Obviously, the provisions within this standard are important for commercial purposes, as they can assure safety in apparel sold to consumers, but knowledge of the ASTM D1230 name can be beneficial for consumers as well. Through awareness of standards and regulations, people can make safe choices with certain types of apparel.
For example, as we discussed last October, Halloween costumes, as outfits that are intended only for single use, may not have been created with these relevant guidelines and requirements in mind. This has introduced flammable Halloween costumes on the market, something that has tragically brought harm to children. You can learn more about this here:
ASTM D1230-17: Standard Test Method for Flammability of Apparel Textiles is available on the ANSI Webstore.