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Gaseous impact testing has been accomplished in assorted ways dating back to at least the 1950s. ASTM Committee G-4 grappled with disparate views and melded them into ASTM G 74 in 1982. Criticized for being both too sensitive and too insensitive, recent data has unfortunately also led to calls for the test's abandonment. A historical review of the test is presented, speculation on desirable elements in an improved G 74 test are presented, and several arguments for preserving the test are presented. An attempt to analyze the test dynamic is offered. The principal virtue of the test is argued to be its potential simplicity and low cost implementation which may enable compatibility testing by smaller laboratories previously forced to rely on the data of others. A possibly unique ability to study aging effects in polymers is also cited. The greatest need in restructuring the test is argued to be the optimization of geometry to allow data to not only rank materials but to reflect worst-case real-world exposures and perhaps allow inference about materials autoignition temperatures.
fire, flammability, ignition, adiabatic compression, oxygen compatibility, gaseous impact
Hazards Research Specialist, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Allentown, PA