Testing the flammability of the fabric is one of the most important tests, because this indicates its safetiness in the case of an outbreak of fire. For the European sector, it is the classification standard EN 13501-1, which assigns classes to the product ranges after the SBI fire-proofing test has been carried out. This test determines the heat and smoke development when the fabric catches fire. Some countries have their own national rating system to specify the required safety standards of the fabrics. For DIN 4102-1 the flammability tests are carried out in a special testing-room. The classification criteria needed for a fabric to obtain the test certificate are:
Specification of the fabric’s ability to limit fire-spreading and heat-production
Indication of the amount of fabric-dripping caused by the burning and smoke production
The American standard ASTM E-84 is used to test the overall fire-retardant properties of materials used in buildings. The test is a ceiling fire simulator, which is carried out in a so-called Steiner tunnel. The flame propagation index and the smoke development index can thus be determined.