November 9, 2017 - Aerospace

Aerospace’s Adhesive Flammability Tests

According to Markets and Markets, the aerospace adhesives market is expected to be worth $2.41 billion by 2021. Used in a range of aircraft interior applications, including overhead bins, decorative laminates, galleys and seats, adhesives play an important role in:

  • Boosting aircraft fuel efficiency
  • Improving aircraft durability

Additionally, all materials used in aircraft manufacturing, including adhesives, must pass certain flammability requirements as deemed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s Flammability Standardization Task Group. These tests include:

Vertical Bunsen Burner Test

To determine if an adhesive passes, it is subjected to a 12 or 60 second Vertical Bunsen Burner Test (VBB Test). Passing this flammability test is based on the following criteria:

  • Burn length
    • Less than or equal to 8 inches for the 12 second test
    • Less than or equal to 6 inches for the 60 second test
  • Flame self-extinguish time
    • Less than or equal to 15 seconds for both tests
  • Drip extension time
    • Less than or equal to 5 seconds for the 12 second test
    • Less than or equal to 3 seconds for the 60 second test

adhesive flammability

Other components also measured in the VBB test include five thermal combustion properties:

  • Heat release capacity
  • Pyrolysis temperature
  • Pyrolysis residue
  • Specific heat of combustion of the sample
  • Specific heat of combustion of the same gases

OSU Heat Release Rate Test

Another important aircraft material flammability test is the OSU (Ohio State University) heat release rate test. This test determines the following:

  • Measures heat release rate from injection, period of ignition and progressive flame involvement from the surface.

As cited in energy.gov, heat release is the most significant predictor of fire hazard. Understanding a material’s heat release rate can provide information on fire size and growth rate.

Tested in what is called a heat release apparatus, the materials must pass the following requirements:

  • Total heat release within the first 2 minutes: less than or equal to 65 kW mins/m2
  • Peak heat release rate: less than or equal to 65 kW/m2
  • 4.0 minute smoke density: less than or equal to 200

For more information on these tests and how Bostik’s adhesives perform, call 800-7-BOSTIK.

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