I’ve just returned from the ASTM F23 meeting in San Diego, CA. The three sessions that I participated in were sessions regarding the D6413 flammability test, the F1930 instrumented manikin test, and the task group working on a Combustible Dust guide.

D6413 (Flammability Test) has been working on standardizing the test apparatus configuration relative to the location of the solenoid valve the shuts off the gas flow to the burner. It has been determined that having the solenoid valve closer to the burner will provide for more instant ‘on and off’ of the flame. Because the solenoid location is currently not specified, after flame results can vary from lab to lab. The recent test data indicates the location change will provide more consistent results. However it raised a question about how this might affect the char length numbers and therefore further testing by multiple labs will be done.

In the F1930 (Instrumented Manikin Test) session, Doug Dale of the University of Alberta (retired), shared data from various labs doing manikin testing, including how the numbers vary. Some of the variation in the numbers could be attributed to the use of different sensor designs. Doug, along with the various labs will continue to evaluate the data to determine if any changes need to be done within the test method to accommodate for these variations.

Lastly was the review of the Combustible Dust guide which was recently up for ballot. As the leader of the task group developing this guide, I led the session. There were several negatives submitted with good suggestions on how the guide could be improved and/or corrected. Because there were some persuasive negatives received, the ballot is being redrawn and a revised edition will be developed for future balloting. The need for a reference guide remains, so the task group will forge ahead to make the necessary changes to make this a valuable document.

-Mark