A study of bench top tests for thermal protective fabrics was undertaken to answer questions about the interpretation of data from these tests, and to evaluate suggested modifications to existing tests. Fixed duration tests using either skin simulant or copper disk heat flux sensors may be a useful alternative to existing bench top tests. However, more work is required before fixed duration tests can be implemented. While predictions of times to third degree burns for bench top test require the use of the Henriques' burn integral, the Stoll second degree burn criterion was found to predict times to second degree burns reasonably close to predictions made using Henriques' burn integral for many bench top test exposures.
It was also found that the heat fluxes used in bench top tests may not be indicative of those in actual flash fires. Current tests which utilize a planar geometry were also found to adequately represent the heat transfer in the more complex geometry of the human body during these exposures.