ASTM D 3801

measuring the comparative burning characteristics of solid plastics in a vertical position

ASTM D 3801 measuring the comparative burning characteristics of solid plastics in a vertical position

classification provided: V-0, V-1 or V-2

ASTM D 3801 method describes a small scale laboratory test for determining comparative burning characteristics of plastic materials using a 20mm flame.


Specimen: Two sets of 10 specimens with nominal dimensions 125 mm x 13 mm and thickness not more than 13mm.

Specimen conditioning: Two sets of 5 specimens per sample were conditioned as follows:

i. First set at 230C and relative humidity 50% for minimum of 48 hours.

ii. Second set in an air circulating oven for 168 hours at 700C and then cooled in a desiccator for minimum of 4 hours.

Gas flow: Set the methane gas flow to 105 ml/min. Adjust the flow and air intakes of the burner to get a clean blue flame 20mm high.

Flame application: 20mm Bunsen burner flame.

Flame application time: 2 x 10 seconds application. The second flame application time begins as soon as the ignited specimen is extinguished or immediately if the specimen does not ignite.



A – Duration of flaming after first flame application (seconds).

B – Duration of flaming after second flame application (seconds).

C – Duration of glowing after second flame application (seconds).

D – Whether or not specimens burn up to the holding clamp.

E – Whether or not specimens drip flaming particles which ignite cotton swatch.

Based on the measured values use the following table to classify the material as V-0, V-1

ASTM D 3801

Test setup:

The Bunsen burner and specimen were setup as shown in the following figure:

If only one specimen from a set of five specimens does not comply with the requirements, another set of five specimens is to be tested. In the case of the total number of seconds of flaming, an additional set of five specimens is to be tested if the totals are in the range of 51 – 55 seconds for V-0 and 251 –255 seconds for V-1 and V-2. All specimens from this second set shall comply with the appropriate requirements in order for the material in that thickness to be classified V-0, V-1 or V-2.