ASTM WK27614

    New Test Method for the Determination of Flame Shrinkage of Flame Resistant Materials

    (What is a Work Item?)

    Developed by Subcommittee: F23.80 | Committee F23 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method is used to measure the shrinkage of flame resistant (FR) materials when exposed to a controlled convective and radiant heat source based on a meeker burner using propane fuel combined with radiant heat from lamps. 1.2 This test method is applicable to FR materials used in the construction of protective clothing, including, but not limited to: woven fabrics, knit fabrics, battings, sheet structures, coated materials, laminated materials intended for use as clothing for protection against flash fire and other flame exposures. 1.3 This test method should be used to measure and describe the properties of FR materials in flame exposures under controlled laboratory conditions and should not be used to describe or appraise the thermal hazard or fire risk of materials under actual exposure conditions. 1.4 The values as stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values in parentheses are given for information only. 1.5 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.


    flame shrinkage, protective clothing, thermal exposure, sensor temperature rise


    FR materials are routinely tested for laundry shrinkage according to AATCC 135, and shrinkage of FR materials is also measured after 5 minutes in a convective oven at 500F according to a standard NFPA test procedure. The results from these shrinkage tests do not provide an accurate measure of fabric shrinkage in a flame exposure. The thermal protective performance of FR materials can be impacted by flame shrinkage since the air gap between the wearers body and the FR garment provides added insulation from the heat exposure. If a fabric exhibits a high level of flame shrinkage in a flash fire exposure, the air gap is reduced and consequently, the insulation from the heat exposure is also reduced. Flame shrinkage has been measured in various labs for over a decade, but there has not been a standard test method to provide consistency from lab to lab.

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Thomas Neal

    Draft Under Development