Polymer Flammability | 2 Things You Need to Know
When producing rubber components, polymer flammability is a crucial aspect to consider in the pursuit of optimal safety and efficiency.
If you are looking for rubber materials and compounds for your next project, consider Qualiform Custom Rubber Molding. Fishbowl Design is proud to work with one of the top custom rubber manufacturers in Ohio. Qualiform can tell you everything you need to know about rubber compounds whether it’s polymer flammability, durability or applicability.
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2 Important Considerations in Polymer Flammability
Polymer flammability is one of the most important properties of polymers to consider in the material selection process. Here are two things you need to know about polymer flammability:
The first thing to consider in regard to a rubber material’s polymer flammability is its combustion properties. The basics of combustion involve three central parts: oxygen, fuels and ignition sources. It is crucial to eliminate at least one of these three elements, so you can prevent or extinguish fires.
Each material experiences the combustion process in a different fashion. However, there is a generally accepted process. This includes thermal and chemical changes and decomposition of the polymer, ignition of any gases, combustion and spreading of the flame.
First and foremost, the ignition source leads the material to rise to a high temperature, which is unique to the rubber’s chemical structure. The material then breaks down and forms free radicals, while gases around the material ignite and being combusting. Burning gases start the combustion at the surface of the material once enough energy accumulates. Lastly, the process spreads the flames and causes charring, smoke and more gases.
Polymer Flammability Tests
Qualiform uses a series of tests to determine the polymer flammability of rubber materials. As a result, they can more accurately help clients select the perfect polymers for there projects. These tests include:
- Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI): The LOI test determines the necessary level of oxygen to cause combustion of a material. The test involves placing the material sample in a glass column. The rubber sample is essentially a wick, which ignites and burns down. Once this step is finished, Qualiform’s specialists will record nitrogen and oxygen levels. The resulting levels are unique to all different materials.
- Vertical Burning Test (94V): This test involves burning a candle-like sample of the material from the bottom up. The materials classification is based on how long the flame lasts after the initial burn.
- Horizontal Burning Test (94HB): This test involves placing a flame at one end of a horizontal material sample. The flame maintains contact for 30 seconds or until it reaches a specific mark on the sample. The classification is based on the time it takes the flame to reach the mark.
The Creative Fishbowl Design Team | Polymer Flammability | Qualiform
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