ASTM E162-12 Surface Flammability of Materials Using a Radiant Heat Energy Source

ASTM E162-12 Surface Flammability of Materials Using a Radiant Heat Energy Source

ASTM E162-12 standard is used to determine and give details of the response of materials, products, or assemblies to heat and flame under controlled conditions. But under actual fire conditions, it does not incorporate all factors required for fire hazard or fire risk assessment of the materials, products, or assemblies by itself.


    This fire-test-response standard describes the measurement of surface flammability of materials. It is not intended for use as a basis of ratings for building code purposes.

    Test Procedure

    In this test method, a radiant heat source consisting of a 12 by 18-in. (305 by 457-mm) panel is used to measure the surface flammability of the material. A specimen of 6 by 18-in. (152 by 457 mm) is inclined in the front of a panel. The orientation of the specimen is such that ignition is forced near its upper edge and the flame front progresses downward. To measure the radiant panel index two factors are combined the one is factor derived from the rate of progress of the flame and the factor derived from the rate of heat liberated by the material under the test.

    Test Specimen:

    The test specimen shall be 6 by 18 in. (152 by 457 mm) by the sheet thickness, where this is less than 1 in. (25.4 mm).


    The radiant panel index, Is

    Fs =flame spread factor.

    Q = Heat evolution factor, 

    Fs (flame spread factor.)

    On linear graph paper, plot distance vertically against the time of arrival of flame at each mark horizontally. For this purpose, assume that the flame starts at 0 in. (0 mm) at time 0 min, and plot this initial point also.

    Q = Heat evolution factor


    C = arbitrary constant 5.7, chosen to make results consistent with those obtained before the metrication of this calculation,

    T = observed maximum stack thermocouple temperature difference in degrees Celsius between the temperature-time curve for the specimen and that for a similar curve of the inorganic reinforced cement board calibration specimen.

    β = mean stack thermocouple temperature rise for unit heat input rate of the calibration burner in degrees Celsius per kilowatt, a constant for the apparatus. (β will probably be found to lie between 0.6 and 1.2°F/Btu·min, or between 20 and 40°C/kW.)


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