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Tests for spontaneous ignition of solid materials

Wang, H., Dlugogorski, B.Z. and Kennedy, E.M. (2006) Tests for spontaneous ignition of solid materials. In: Apte, V.B., (ed.) Flammability testing of materials used in construction, transport and mining. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, UK, pp. 385-442.

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This chapter addresses the flammability regulations for transport category airplanes, i.e., commercial airplanes used by airlines for transport of goods and people. Although flammability regulations for other aircraft types such as general aviation, commuters, agricultural, etc., are similar but not as comprehensive as those for transport category airplanes, they are beyond the scope of this chapter.

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the responsibility for establishing and enforcing all regulatory requirements for civil aviation. FAA fire safety regulations on transport category airplanes are quite extensive and implementation and enforcement processes are considerably more intricate and involved than those imposed by other regulatory agencies on land-based and water-based transport vehicles. Passenger cabin and engine compartment components are subject to one or more of over a dozen tests.

Beyond the USA, FAA regulations and FAA regulatory changes are commonly adopted by almost all national aviation authorities. Hence, FAA regulations are essentially used worldwide, and for this reason this chapter is limited to FAA flammability requirements for transport category airplanes. A brief history of the evolution of FAA flammability regulations is provided. The original flammability requirements are described.

Over the years, the FAA has greatly increased the stringency of airplane flammability requirements as the state-of-the-art of available materials advanced, and/or as existing fire threats based on large-scale testing were better understood and steps were taken to mitigate them. The development of regulatory flammability requirements in the 1980s were dynamic, and are described.

This chapter also covers FAA processes for approval of design and production of airplanes. These processes or their non-USA equivalents are also used by almost all national regulatory authorities. These are often more of a challenge to applicants for regulatory approval than the tests themselves.

Publication Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Woodhead Publishing Limited
Copyright: © Woodhead Publishing Limited, 2006
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