Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 31, 2010
ASTM D4804-03

Standard Test Method for Determining the Flammability Characteristics of Nonrigid Solid Plastics

Significance and Use

The test results represent the afterflame and afterglow times, in seconds, for a material under the conditions of the test.

The afterflame and afterglow times and other burning phenomena will vary with thickness. Test data should only be compared with data for material of comparable thickness. Useful information may be obtained from a plot of afterflame and afterglow times versus thickness.

The effect of material thickness, colors, additives, deterioration, and possible loss of volatile components is measurable.

The results serve as a reference for comparing the relative performance of materials and can be an aid in material selection.

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, it may not be possible by or from this test method 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 These fire-test-response test methods describe small-scale laboratory procedures for determining the comparative burning characteristics of solid plastic materials that, due to specimen thinness and nonrigidity, may distort or shrink when tested using Test Method D 3801. A flame is applied to the base of specimens held in a vertical position and the extinguishing times are determined upon removal of the test flame.

1.2 The classification system described in Appendix X1 is intended for quality assurance and the preselection of component materials for products.

1.3 This standard 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.

Note 1—These test methods and ISO 9773 are technically equivalent.

Note 2—For rate of burning of nonrigid solid plastics in a horizontal position, formerly Test Method B of these test methods, see Test Method D 635, section 9.4.

1.4 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. For specific hazard statements, see Warning in 6.1.

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Book of Standards Volume: 08.02
Developed by Subcommittee: D20.30
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.1520/D4804-03
ICS Code: 13.220.40; 83.080.01