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    An Assessment of the Critical Oxygen Index Test as a Measure of Material Flammability

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    The Health and Safety Executive has recently completed a program of research designed to investigate factors that affect the critical oxygen index of solid materials and to assess the test method as a means of measuring flammability. The dependence of the critical oxygen index on specimen size, burning mode, type of test column, and testing gas velocity are reported and discussed. The test is appraised and the strengths and weaknesses of the method are highlighted. The results indicate that care must be exercised in interpreting the significance of the numerical test result.


    flammability test method, critical oxygen index test, plastics, polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), nylon, acetal, burning solid, oxygen

    Author Information:

    Wharton, RK
    Health and safety executive, Explosion and Flame Laboratory, Harpur Hill, Buxton,

    Committee/Subcommittee: G04.01

    DOI: 10.1520/STP26754S