ASTM D5238 - 10

    Standard Test Method for Smoldering Combustion Potential of Cotton-Based Batting

    Active Standard ASTM D5238 | Developed by Subcommittee: D13.52

    Book of Standards Volume: 07.02


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    Significance and Use

    This test method provides a means for evaluating the smoldering combustion potential of cotton-based batting for use in mattresses and upholstered furniture. The degree of correlation between the results of this test of a component material and actual end-use products has not been determined fully.

    In this procedure, the specimens are subjected to one or more specific sets of laboratory test conditions. If different test conditions are substituted or the end-use conditions are changed, this test method cannot predict changes in the fire test response characteristics measured. The results are therefore valid only for the fire test exposure conditions described in this procedure.

    In the case of a dispute arising from differences in the reported test results using this test method for acceptance testing of commercial shipments, the purchaser and the supplier are advised to conduct comparative tests to determine whether a statistical bias exists between their laboratories. Competent statistical assistance is recommended for the investigation of bias. An acceptable probability level is chosen by the two parties before testing begins. As a minimum, a group of test specimens that are as homogeneous as possible and that are from a lot of material of the type in question are taken. The test specimens are then randomly assigned in equal numbers to each laboratory for testing. The average results from the two laboratories are compared using Student's t-test for unpaired data. If a bias is found, either its cause must be determined and corrected, or the purchaser and supplier must agree to interpret future test results in light of the known bias.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of smoldering combustion potential within cotton-based batting intended for use in mattresses and upholstered furniture. This test method is designed to evaluate batting containing at least 75 % cotton by weight, and it is intended to be used primarily as a quality control tool.

    1.2 This test method is used to measure and describe the response of materials, products, or assemblies to heat and flame under controlled conditions, but does not by itself incorporate all factors required for fire hazard or fire risk assessment of the materials, products, or assemblies under actual fire conditions.

    1.3 Fire testing is inherently hazardous. Adequate safeguards for personnel and property shall be employed in conducting these tests.

    1.4 Inadequate consideration of a subsystem, such as cotton batting, to resist smoldering is frequently the reason that finished mattress or upholstered furniture systems fail fire and smolder resistance tests. This test method may be used to evaluate this smolder resistance in the subsystem of cotton batting used in such products. The purpose of this test method is to aid end users in better determining the potential of cotton batting components to resist smoldering. It is recommended that those using this test method be familiar with cotton batting production and the use of cotton batting in mattresses and upholstered furniture.

    1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D123 Terminology Relating to Textiles

    D1776 Practice for Conditioning and Testing Textiles

    D2258 Practice for Sampling Yarn for Testing

    D4391 Terminology Relating to The Burning Behavior of Textiles

    E176 Terminology of Fire Standards

    Government Standard

    Title16CFRPart1632, Standard for the Flammability of Mattresses and Mattress Pads (FF 4-72 Amended) Federal Register, Vol 49, No. 197, Wednesday, October 10, 1984.


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.220.40 (Ignitability and burning behaviour of materials and products); 59.060.10 (Natural fibres)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11162401(Cotton batting)


    DOI: 10.1520/D5238-10

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