Standard Historical Last Updated: Jan 02, 2013 Track Document
ASTM D2863-12

Standard Test Method for Measuring the Minimum Oxygen Concentration to Support Candle-Like Combustion of Plastics (Oxygen Index)

Standard Test Method for Measuring the Minimum Oxygen Concentration to Support Candle-Like Combustion of Plastics (Oxygen Index) D2863-12 ASTM|D2863-12|en-US Standard Test Method for Measuring the Minimum Oxygen Concentration to Support Candle-Like Combustion of Plastics (Oxygen Index) Standard new BOS Vol. 08.01 Committee D20
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Significance and Use

This test method provides for the measuring of the minimum concentration of oxygen in a flowing mixture of oxygen and nitrogen that will just support flaming combustion of plastics. Correlation with burning characteristics under actual use conditions is not implied.

In this test method, 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, it is not always possible by or from this test to predict changes in the fire-test-response characteristics measured. Therefore, the results are valid only for the fire-test-exposure conditions described in this test method.


1.1 This fire-test-response standard describes a procedure for measuring the minimum concentration of oxygen, expressed as percent volume, that will just support flaming combustion in a flowing mixture of oxygen and nitrogen.

1.2 This test method provides three testing procedures. Procedure A involves top surface ignition, Procedure B involves propagating ignition, and Procedure C is a short procedure involving the comparison with a specified minimum value of the oxygen index.

1.3 Test specimens used for this test method are prepared into one of six types of specimens (see Table 1).

1.4 This test method provides for testing materials that are structurally self-supporting in the form of vertical bars or sheet up to 10.5-mm thick. Such materials are solid, laminated or cellular materials characterized by an apparent density greater than 15 kg/m3.

1.5 This test method also provides for testing flexible sheet or film materials, while supported vertically.

1.6 This test method is also suitable, in some cases, for cellular materials having an apparent density of less than 15 kg/m3.

Note 1—Although this test method has been found applicable for testing some other materials, the precision of the test method has not been determined for these materials, or for specimen geometries and test conditions outside those recommended herein.

1.7 This test method measures and describes 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.

1.8 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.9 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. Specific hazards statement are given in Section 10.

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

Note 2—This test method and ISO 4589-2 are technically equivalent when using the gas measurement and control device described in 6.3.1, with direct oxygen concentration measurement.

TABLE 1 Test Specimen Dimensions

Test Specimen TypeADimensionsMaterial Form
Thickness, mm
I80 to 15010 ± 0.54 ± 0.25for molding materials
II80 to 15010 ± 0.510 ± 0.5for cellular materials
IIIB80 to 15010 ± 0.5 10.5for sheet materials
IVC70 to 1506.5 ± 0.53 ± 0.25alternative size for
self-supporting molding
or sheet materials
VB140 ± 552 ± 0.510.5for flexible film or sheet
VIBD140 to 200200.02 to 0.10for thin film; limited to film
that can be rolled by the
wire specified in 6.7

A Test specimens of Types I, II, III, and IV are suitable for materials that are self-supporting at these dimensions. Test specimens of Form V and VI are suitable for materials that require support during testing. Test specimens of Form VI are suitable for film materials that can be rolled into a self-supporting specimen by the procedure in 7.4.

B Compare results obtained using Type III, V, and VI test specimens only to those obtained using specimens of the same form and thickness. It is assumed that the amount of variation in thickness for such materials will be controlled by other standards.

C The Type IV (ASTM) specimen will eventually be discontinued in favor of the Type 1 (ISO) specimen.

D The test specimen of Type VI is suitable for thin film that is self-supporting when it is rolled (see 7.4). Dimensions in the table are of the specimen size from which the rolled form is made. If the film is very thin, it is possible that proper results will only be obtained if two or more layers are combined in the preparation of the roll to obtain proper results.

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Book of Standards Volume: 08.01
Developed by Subcommittee: D20.30
Pages: 14
DOI: 10.1520/D2863-12
ICS Code: 83.080.01