Fire Retardant Foam – Get the Right Foam for the Job
Fire retardant foam. Seems simple enough. That is until you begin looking further into the subject. Then you’re inundated with technical jargon. Grades, specifications, tests, data, data, DATA! Do you choose the red foam? Do you choose the blue foam?
The answer is simple. You choose the right foam for the job. Let’s clear this debacle up and talk straight facts! Here’s what you need to know when buying fire retardant foam.
About Fire Retardant Foam
There are many different types of foam – spray foam, styrofoam, seafoam, Amsterdam’s famous photography museum – FOAM. Just to be clear, the following information is in relation to foam rubber; that’s what we deal in.
Different foam grades have different levels of fire resistance. Some are very flammable while others are highly fire retardant.
Foam flammability standards and requirements can also vary quite substantially depending on the intended application. For example, there are different flammability tests for foam used in cars vs that used in furniture.
Many of these tests have long or complicated names. So, let’s make things clearer and take a look at a couple of examples.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
Those that use foam for the purpose of padding furniture will be most familiar with this fire safety test.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended) outlines various requirements that foam must adhere to in order to be deemed suitable for use in upholstered furniture.
Firstly, that the foam must comply with the outlined ignition requirements, Secondly, that the foam must be cigarette resistant. Third, that new furniture (with some exceptions) must clearly display fire safety labels. And finally, a five-year record of compliance must be upheld by the original supplier of the furniture.
Fire Retardant Foam – UL94
Foam tested to this standard is generally used for acoustic treatment and soundproofing applications. It can also be used for dust and engine filters, seals/gaskets and more.
UL94 is a plastics flammability standard. Applications requiring compliance with this fire safety test are generally industrial-focused.
Other Fire Safety Tests
There are many other types of fire safety tests. Many countries have their own tests that outline their requirements when it comes to fire retardant foam. Other test examples include FMVSS302, Class 0, HF-1 and much more.
If you are unsure about the suitability of a certain grade of foam for your application, contact us directly. Our team of foam experts are always happy to help. They can provide you with professional advice so that you can make the right decision!