Flame Penetration Resistance for Hazardous Packaging

The Flame Penetration Resistance test is used by the transportation industry to determine the flame penetration resistance of hazardous packaging materials when exposed to a high-intensity open flame. This test falls under the requirements of Title 49 (Transportation), Chapter I (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration), Subchapter C (Hazardous Materials Regulations).

Test Methods

  • 49 CFR 178, Appendix E

Test Summary

Three samples of outer packaging materials are provided for testing. Each sample is installed in a horizontal position and is exposed to a high intensity open flame for five minutes. During the test, the temperature above the packaging is recorded and the sample is monitored for flame penetration. There must be no flame penetration of any sample during testing, and the maximum temperature above the sample must not exceed 400°F.

Test Sample Requirements

Test samples must meet the following requirements:

    • The standard sample size is 16 inch x 24 inch.
    • A minimum of 3 samples of outer packaging materials must be tested.

Regulatory Requirements

This test is typically used to show compliance with the following U.S. Federal Regulations:

    • 49 CFR 178, Appendix E

Products Requiring This Test

Packaging and containers used for the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce (per 49 CFR 178) require the Flame Penetration Resistance Test.

History of the Flame Penetration Resistance for Hazardous Packaging Test

The Flame Penetration Resistance Test was encoded into federal law in 2007. It is located in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 49 (Transportation), Subtitle B (Other Regulations Relating to Transportation), Subchapter C (Hazardous Materials Regulations), Part 178 (Specifications for Packagings), Appendix E (Flame Penetration Resistance Test). This test was copied from the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Oil Burn for Cargo Liner Test, which was originally created to test cargo liners for transport category airplanes. The initial release of the Flame Penetration Resistance Test in 49 CFR 178 included references to FAA-standard procedures and equipment. It was amended in 2013 and removed many of these references.

Additional Resources

Resource Description
49 CFR 178, Appendix E Flame Penetration Resistance Test
U.S. Regulations for 49 CFR 178, Appendix F as amended in 2013.


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