The Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (BEARHFTI) was directed in 2012 to revise flammability standard Technical Bulletin 117 (CA TB 117) for better fire safety without the need for flame retardant chemicals. The new standard for this purpose was renamed CA TB 117-2013 and became mandatory Jan. 1, 2015.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs developed CA TB 117 to prevent ignition or slow the spread of a flame if furniture was the first item in a room to ignite. It required the testing of the furniture’s foam filling in an uncovered state. Without the use of potentially harmful flame retardant chemicals, this part of the test was difficult to pass.
Samples are no longer exposed to a direct open flame. The components of the furniture are instead subjected to a cigarette smoldering test in accordance with ASTM E1353-08a. These components include a cover fabric test, a barrier materials test, a resilient filling materials test and a decking materials test. CA TB 117-2013 provides a pass/fail criterion for each of the product mockups. These changes provide a more realistic situation for how furniture fires start in real world applications.
SDL Atlas, a Rock Hill, S.C.-based supplier of textile testing equipment, has announced a range of products and recommendations for the testing of both CA TB 117-2013 and its predecessor CA TB 117-2000.
Source: SDL Atlas