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Flame Retardant Terminology

Standard Terminology of Fire Standards
ASTM E 176

Combustion, n — a chemical process of oxidation that occurs at a rate fast enough to produce temperature rise and glow or flame.

Combustible, adj — capable of undergoing combustion.  Combustible is a relative term; many materials that undergo combustion under one set of conditions will not combust under others, e.g., steel is non-combustible but when shaved into very fine steel wool will combust.  The term combustible does not indicate ease of ignition, burning intensity, or rate of burning except when modified by a word such as highly, as in highly combustible.

Fire, n — destructive burning as manifested by any or all of the following: light, flame, heat, smoke.

Fire proof (flame proof), n — inappropriate and misleading terms

Fire resistance, n — the property of a material or assemblage to withstand fire or give protection from it.

Flame (Fire) retardant chemical, n — a chemical, which when added to a combustible material, delays ignition and combustion of the resulting material when exposed to fire. Flame (Fire) retardant coating, n — a liquid applied surface covering on a combustible material which delays ignition and combustion of the material when the coating is exposed to fire.

Intumescent Flame (Fire) retardant coating, n — a liquid applied surface covering on a combustible material which delays ignition and combustion by expanding when exposed to fire.

Flame, n — a hot usually luminous zone of gas that is undergoing combustion.

Flame spread index, n — a number or classification based on a calculated value derived from observations made under defined test conditions.

Flammable, n — a combustible material that ignites easily and burns intensely.

Flashover, n — the rapid transition to a state of total surface involvement in a fire of combustible materials within an enclosure.

Ignition, n — the initiation of combustion.

Optical smoke density, n — a defined unit of smoke intensity related to percent light transmission

Smoke toxicity, n — the propensity of smoke to produce adverse biochemical or physiological effects.



Page Last Edited: Sunday, June 28, 2015

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