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FLAME PERSISTENCY AND PROPAGATION TEST APPARATUS
Model PolyNorme 504
According to NF P 92-504 of 1995

Keywords :

test – reaction to fire – building – flexible and rigid materials – flame persistency – flame propagation – M classification

PolyNorme 504 apparatus for flexible material test

PolyNorme 504 apparatus for rigid material test

 

Design and marketing of the flame persistency and propagation test apparatus are subjected to a partnership with LNE (Laboratoire National d’Essais).

FOREWORD

The flame persistency test according to NF P 92-504 is a reaction to fire complementary test for M classification of building and fitting materials. It is used for flexible and rigid materials of any thickness which develop holes without inflammation or with short time inflammation during the main test (electrical burner test according to NF P 92-503 or radiation test in an epiradiator cabinet according to NF P 92-501). In that case, the flame persistency test becomes the deciding test for M classification of materials.
In principle, if there is no flame persistency after burner withdrawing, the material can be M1 classified. In case of flame persistency after burner withdrawing, the M2 or M3 classification will be made depending on whether the duration of inflammation is = 5 s or > 5 s. In case of inflamed or not dripping, the dripping test (NF P 92-505) is carried out.


The flame propagation test is performed with the same apparatus and on the same size test pieces as for the flame persistency test ; it is used for M4 classification of flexible and rigid materials of any thickness. A material will be classified M4 if it doesn’t enter in any of the M1, M2 or M3 categories at the conclusion of the main test, or of the flame persistency test, and if during the flame propagation test, it is noticed a continuous flame propagation on 250 mm length at a speed lower than 2 mm per second.

 

PRINCIPLE

The persistency or flame propagation test involves submitting, under defined conditions, the test piece to the action of a heat source provided by a gas burner, and possibly producing :
• Inflammation of the test piece and measurement of the duration of inflammation after burner withdrawing or
• An effect of flame propagation and measurement of the speed of flame propagation.
The durations of inflammation or the speed of flame propagation and the observed effects are noted.

 

APPARATUS

At the early beginning, LNE designed an apparatus fitted with automatization in order to make easier especially the carrying-out of a flame persistency test while assuring a good repeatability of the results. In fact, the manual operating sequence to be done by the user in the case of the flame persistency test requires from him skill and watchfulness relieved by the apparatus automatization :

• Incline the burner at 45° facing the test piece.
• Maintain the flame for 5 s in contact with the test piece.
• If necessary, move laterally the carriage in order to keep the flame in contact with the test piece.
• After 5 s, bring back the burner to its originally vertical position.
• Note the duration of inflammation of the test piece.
• 3 s after extinction of the flame, bring again the burner in contact with the test piece at the same place where the flame went out.
• Maintain again the flame for 5 s in contact with the test piece.
• After 5 s, bring back again the burner to its originally vertical position.
• Note again the duration of inflammation of the test piece.
• Repeat this action about ten times for each test piece at the most on several test pieces in such a way to perform 30 applications of the burner in total.
• After each removal of the burner, note how long the flame persists on the test piece, the possible flame propagation and whether there are any droplets, burning or otherwise.

 

PolyNorme 504 apparatus allows to perform automatically all the operating sequence including recording of the flame persistency duration determined by push-button activation, excepted the displacement of the carriage still manual. Regarding the flame propagation test, the simplified automatization allows to maintain the flame in contact with the bottom angle of the free end of the test piece for 30 s at the maximum or until the flame reaches the first mark placed 50 mm from the free end of the test piece, with however the manual help of the carriage displacement and the push-button activation. Time required by the flame to travel the distance between the two marks, that is to say 250 mm, determined by push-button activation, is automatically recorded. Moreover, company A.I.S. improved the equipment by replacing the original data acquisition control box by a computerized system with PC and software.

 

APP-01 FLAME PERSISTENCY AND PROPAGATION

TEST APPARATUS MODEL POLYNORME 504

The flame persistency and propagation test apparatus model PolyNorme 504 is made of the following elements  :
• A metal frame comprising a pedestal on which is mounted, either the U-shape frame support of the test piece holder for flexible material, or the fixed clamp of the test piece holder for rigid material as well as a carriage movable by a crank.


• A test piece holder for flexible material made of a reversed U-shape frame. Each half frame is constituted of two side bars linked together at one end by a cross bar. One half frame has treaded spikes spaced out according the standard ; the other half frame has holes of the same diameter and at the same interval as the spikes. The both half frames are pressed against each other, thus holding the rectangular test piece of 460 x 230 mm, through the spikes on which are screwed nuts. The test piece holder assembly is then put vertically in the two vertical posts of the support so that the crosshead of the frame is in a horizontal position. A guide bound up with the carriage and composed of two vertical rods with a small gap, on the left of the burner, maintains permanently the test piece in the vertical plane of the test piece holder during the burner application.


• A test piece holder for rigid material made of one fixed clamp at the end of the pedestal, and of a movable guide, dependent on the carriage, through which slides the rectangular test piece of 400 x 35 mm (with a maximum thickness of 120 mm) when the carriage is moved along.
A sliding carriage moved by a crank allows to maintain the flame in contact with the test piece. In addition to the guide for flexible material or for rigid material, the carriage bears the motor unit to incline the burner at 45° starting from its originally vertical position by rotating round a horizontal axis.


• A burner supplied with propane gas (10 to 50 kPa) which flame height can be adjusted by a needle valve tap. Two gauge templates are delivered together with the apparatus, the one mounted on the turned out gas burner allows to check the distance between burner and test piece, the other is used to measure the height of the turned on gas burner flame, that is to say 20 mm.


• An automation control box (common to PolyNormes 503 and 504) with push-button control takes over the control instructions of the test configured and initialized by software; it transfers in real time to the PC, by RS 232 connection, the durations of inflammation taken by the push-button after each removal of the burner in the flame persistency test, or the time taken by the flame to cover the distance of 250 mm in the flame propagation test. It controls also the inclination angle of the burner at 45° within 0.1 to 0.2 s.

• The data acquisition and control software named « FEU » can be used equally well for PolyNorme 503 or PolyNorme 504 operation. Recognition of the apparatus is done by switching it on. The test method (persistency or propagation) is chosen by a menu in the software. From then on, the software transmits to the automation control box the instruction for test initialization. The software acquires durations of inflammation taken by the push-button after each removal of the burner in the flame persistency test or the time taken by the flame to cover the distance of 250 mm in the flame propagation test. A report is edited at the test end comprising heading, data and final comments on each test piece.
Are included at the delivery of the PolyNorme 504 two gauge templates to adjust the distance between burner and test piece and also the height of the burner flame.


It is necessary to supply with one kind of test piece holder as optional accessory, or a test piece holder for flexible sample APP-02, or a test piece holder for rigid material APP-03.

N.B. Are not included in the supply of the PolyNorme 504, a pressure reducer for propane gas, a PC-type microcomputer, nor a hood which are usually available in a laboratory. Nevertheless it is still possible to get these accessories on request.

 

 ACCESSORIES AND SPARE PARTS

• APP-02 COMPLETE TEST PIECE HOLDER FOR FLEXIBLE MATERIAL

• APP-03 COMPLETE TEST PIECE HOLDER FOR RIGID MATERIAL

• APP-04 PROPANE GAS BURNER

 

Technical aspect :

• Pedestal overall dimensions : 613 x 350 mm
• Apparatus maximum height (with test piece holder for flexible material) : 455 mm
• Apparatus net weight on pedestal (without test piece holder) : 10.4 kg
• Net weight of the complete test piece holder for flexible material : 5.5 kg
• Net weight of the complete test piece holder for rigid material : 4.5 kg
• Net weight of the complete automation control box with push-button and cable : 4.2 kg


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Spécialiste de la mesure industrielle et des essais normalisés, AIS assure la fabrication et la distribution dappareils pour la mesure et le contrôle (capteurs de température et d'humidité, stroboscopes, débimètres massiques) et pour l'essai des matériaux (extrudeuses et mélangeurs internes, presses à plateaux chauffants et mélangeurs à cylindres, appareils et machines d'essai de traction , de réaction au feu, rhéologiques (melt-indexeurs et rhéomètres capillaires), thermomécaniques (HDT-Vicat), etc.