Flammability is a crucial factor in choosing materials for many applications, from electronics to aerospace. UL94 is a common standard used to evaluate the flammability of plastic materials. The UL94 rating system assigns a class to the material based on its performance in a series of tests.
There are six UL94 flammability classes, each with its own set of criteria. Here is a table that shows the different UL94 classes, their flame rating, and test criteria, arranged from least to most stringent:
|Burning Stops Within
|Sample burns slowly and steadily when exposed to a flame held horizontally
|Sample self-extinguishes within 30 seconds after the source of ignition is removed, and it does not drip flaming particles
|Same as UL94V-2, but with the addition of a flame afterglow time of less than 30 seconds
|Same as UL94V-1, but with the addition of no flaming afterglow or any flaming particles that continue to burn after the material has self-extinguished
|Sample self-extinguishes within 60 seconds after the source of ignition is removed, but a hole may be present in the test specimen
|Sample self-extinguishes within 60 seconds after the source of ignition is removed, and it does not have a burn-through (no hole)
Note that the UL94HB class only tests for horizontal burning and is considered the least flame retardant rating. The UL94V-2 class is the minimum requirement for many applications, while the UL94V-0 class is often used in high-risk applications such as electronics or aerospace. The UL94-5VB class is slightly less stringent than the UL94-5VA class because it allows for the presence of a hole in the test specimen.
It is important to note that the burning stops within the specified time is an essential part of the UL94 rating. For example, the UL94V-0 rating requires that the sample stops burning within 10 seconds and does not produce any flaming drips. The UL94-5VA and UL94-5VB ratings both require the sample to self-extinguish within 60 seconds, but the UL94-5VA rating requires that the sample does not have a burn-through, while the UL94-5VB rating allows for the presence of a hole.
Choosing the right material for a particular application can be crucial to reducing the risk of fire and ensuring safety. Understanding the different UL94 flammability ratings and their criteria can help select the appropriate material. By selecting materials with the appropriate rating, it is possible to reduce the risk of fire and ensure the safety of people and property.
In conclusion, the UL94 flammability rating system is an important tool for evaluating the flammability of plastic materials. By understanding the different UL94 classes and their criteria, you can select the right material for your application, reduce the risk of fire, and ensure the safety of people and property.