Flammability Tests -6.


Flammability Test Methods:

Numerous building laws and regulations exist in Italy relating to fire protection. "Circolare No.12" of the Ministry of the Interior contains test procedures enabling the flammability performance of building materials - including fabrics - to be established and classified. To achieve an overall classification, the small burner ignitability test (CSE RF 1/75 A or CSE RF 2/75 A) must be conducted together with the surface spread of flame test (CSE RF 3/77). The results of both tests are then used to determine an overall classification, from Class 1 to Class 5 - Class 1 being the best.
CSE = Centro Studi ed Esperienze (Research Centre of the Ministry of the Interior)
RF = Reazione al fuoco (Reaction to fire)
CSE RF 1/75 A, CSE RF 2/75 A
These small burner tests roughly correspond to the German Kleinbreiner test (DIN 4102 Part 1) except for the size of specimen and the absence of filter paper to check for burning droplets.
CSE RF 1/75 A is an edge application flame test, with the flame applied for 12 seconds, while CSE RF 2/75 A uses surface application of the small flame for 30 seconds. In both tests, after flame time, afterglow time, extent of damage and flaming droplets are observed and recorded. These parameters are then divided into three grades, as shown in the table below:

Grade Afterflame time (s) Afterflame time (s) Extent of damage (mm) Time for drippings to extinguish (s)
1 <5 <10 <150 non burning
2 >5 - <60 >10 - <60 >150 - <200 <3
3 >60 >60 >200 >3


The grades of the four parameters are then multiplied by "weighting factors" in order to establish the category into which a product falls, which then serves as the basis for assigning a classification to a product.

Parameter Weighting Factor
After flame time
After glow time
Extent of damage
Category Weighted sum of grades (grade x weighting)
iii 13 - 15
iv 16 - 18


CSE RF 3/77
In the spread of flame test, the sample is exposed to a small pilot flame and radiant panel. The position of the test specimen is varied to simulate end use in floors, walls and ceilings. Parameters measured are the rate of spread of flame, extent of damage, afterglow and flaming droplets, which again are divided into three grades. The category on which classification is based is then worked out by multiplying the different grades with various weighting factors, which for flaming droplets are distinguished between floor, wall and ceiling use.

Grade Rate of spread of flame (mm/min) Extent of damage maximum length Afterglow time (s) Time for drippings to extinguish (s)
1 not measurable =<300 =<180 not burning
2 =<30 =>300 - =<600 =>180 - =<360 =<3
3 >30 >600 >360 >3


Parameter Weighting factor
Rate of spread of flame 2
Extent of damage 2
Afterglow 1
Dripping floor 0
wall 1
ceiling 2
Category Weighted sum of grades (grade x weighting)
Floor Wall Ceiling
i 05-Jul 06-Aug 07-Sep
ii 08-Oct 09-Dec Oct-13
iii Nov-13 13 - 15 14 - 17
iv 14 - 15 16 - 18 18 - 21


Test Method Conditions Class
method CSE RF Compliance with categories to choice  
1/75/A or 2/75/A i            
Mar-77 i
1/75/A or 2/75/A ii i          
Mar-77 i ii
1/75/A or 2/75/A iii ii i iii ii    
Mar-77 ii iii iii i ii
1/75/A or 2/75/A iv iii iii iv ii iv i
Mar-77 iii iv iii ii iv i iv
1/75/A or 2/75/A iv            
Mar-77 iv


The categories obtained from the different tests form the basis for classifying products, as follows;- For classification in classes 2, 3 and 4 respectively, two, five and seven combinations of categories obtained are available.