Element's fire testing laboratories provide accurate and reliable flammability testing of organic and inorganic plastics used in devices and appliances as per UL 94 and other standards to ensure they adhere to established safety requirements to reduce the risks imposed by fire. 


Many plastic materials can burn when ignited, and their combustible properties can make them a potentially dangerous accelerant in an on-going fire situation. With leading-edge fire testing equipment and modern facilities across North America, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive testing programs for assessing relative flammability of plastic materials under controlled combustion conditions. 


Flammability Testing of Plastics Methods


Our goal is to ensure that plastics are fully assessed to applicable industry standards, such as UL 94, for their combustion and heat-related properties, and are safe for their end application. Our breadth of expertise and capabilities enables us to conduct accredited testing in order to:

  • determine fire classification of plastics used in devices and appliances
  • assess foamed plastics, such as spray foam insulation
  • determine heat and smoke release rates of plastics
  • assess plastics used in transportation vehicles
  • determine ignition propensity of plastics
  • assess flammability of decorative plastic materials
  • determine oxygen index


Our approach to UL 94 testing


Element's experts have a thorough understanding of the standard and perform UL 94 testing with the highest levels of accuracy, delivering data that is first-time-right and done on time. We conduct vertical and horizontal testing to assess burning rates; we test for ignition propensity, ignition temperature (in the air), and oxygen index.  

The information you gain from UL 94 tests provides:

  • an indication of the material's potential acceptance with respect to a particular application
  • material classification to relevant industry standards
  • material development data
  • quality control assurances


Flammability testing of Plastics Standards


Element performs flammability testing of plastics to meet the requirements of various national and international standards, including: 

  • ASTM D 635, ASTM D 568, ASTM D 2863, ASTM E 84, ASTM E 1354, ASTM E 162, ASTM E 662, & ASTM E 648
  • Boeing BSS 7239
  • Bombardier SMP 800-C
  • CAN/CGSB-4.2 No. 27.1
  • CAN/ULC-S102 and CAN/ULC-S102.2, & CAN/ULC-S127
  • FAR 25.853 (12s), FAR 25.853 (60s), FAR 25.853 45° angle, FAR 25.853 Horizontal
  • NFPA 701 Test 2
  • UL 94 V, UL 94 HB, UL 94 5VA or 5VB, UL 94 VTM & UL 94 HBF
  • UL 723

Radiant Panel Test: assessing the response of flooring materials to heat and flame

A guide to understanding the critical radiant flux of flooring materials. Flooring materials used in a building corridor or exitway must be tested for their flammability characteristics to gain an understanding of how they will contribute to fire spread. 


Cone Calorimeter Testing

A guide to understanding the fire response and the smoke production of materials. The Cone Calorimeter is currently the most advanced test method to assess how materials and products behave when exposed to a radiant heat insult.


Steiner Tunnel Testing: reaction-to-fire testing on interior finish materials

A guide to understanding the Steiner Tunnel test and the differences between ASTM E84 and CAN/ULC-S102. READ MORE

Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films: a comparative analysis of CAN/ULC-S109 and NFPA 701 Fire Tests

A guide to understanding a material's reaction to fire by comparing CAN/ULC-S109 and NFPA 701 test methods. READ MORE

The Element advantage

As part of our flammability testing of plastics, we offer screening and material development tests through the Cone Calorimeter, the most widely used apparatus to determine the potential heat that can evolve in a fire. Testing plastics through the Cone Calorimeter test provides insight into the material's flammability properties, which is critical to make more informed material selection choices for a final application. 

To speak with an expert or learn more about how we can help you test your plastic material, contact us today.

Our team of over 9,000 Engaged Experts in North America, Europe, The Middle East, Australia, Asia and Africa are ready to help you.