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More information about CPAI-84 flammability specification

Resources | February 1, 2011 | By:

I’m buying FR treated nylon ripstop fabric from a vendor and my customer is requiring the flame spread data. When I asked my supplier for it, he suggested that I contact you for the CPAI-84 certificate. Can you help me?

There are two inherent issues in your question. The first is what your customer has asked for and the test method your supplier suggested. As explained in the previous question, IFAI is the promulgator of CPAI-84. However, different flammability tests measure different aspects of a material’s flammability, and CPAI-84 does not measure flame spread. Instead, it measures char length and mass lost, as well as afterflame. A flame spread is a measure used more commonly with fabrics for use in interiors. ASTM E-84 would be a better tool to measure that characteristic.

The second issue has to do with the certificate. IFAI wrote CPAI-84 as a voluntary industry standard. Even if it were the correct test method, IFAI does not certify fabrics and would not be in a position to provide an FR certification. Typically this is something that an end product manufacturer obtains from their supplier. Some suppliers have their own testing labs, and others have their materials tested by an outside resource. In any case, if your vendor is unable to provide a certificate to a specification they’ve indicated that their fabric passes, it could be that they are purchasing from someone else. You may need to seek further up in the supply chain or send the fabric to a testing lab yourself.

Juli Case is IFAI‘s information and technical services manager.

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