A new ASTM International standard will help to make portable fuel containers safer. The new standard (soon to be published as F3326) was developed by ASTM’s committee on consumer products (F15).
“This new standard requires the addition of a flame mitigation device in consumer portable fuel containers (PFC),” says ASTM International member Philip Monckton, Scepter Canada. “An ASTM-approved study demonstrated, in limited circumstances involving misuse of portable fuel containers – pouring flammable liquid to start or accelerate a fire – there is potential for propagation of a flame into a flammable fuel-air mixture within a PFC. The standard is intended to reduce the potential for such phenomenon to occur.”
The new standard describes specifications and four test methods to determine the effectiveness, fuel flow resistance, and mechanical and chemical durability of a flame mitigation devices installed in a portable gasoline fuel container.
The four tests included establish:
• Whether the flame mitigation device can effectively and repeatedly prevent flame propagation into a flammable butane-air mixture inside the container.
• Whether the flame mitigation device significantly reduces flow rates of gasoline fuel into and out of the portable container.
• The mechanical durability of the flame mitigation device when it is subjected to repeated insertions and removal of gasoline refueling spout.
• The chemical compatibility of the flame mitigation device during prolonged exposure to CE25a and CE85a gasoline fuel formulations.
Results from the tests are intended to be used in conjunction with other portable container standards to evaluate the suitability of a portable fuel container for consumer use.
Monckton notes that manufacturers, regulatory bodies, laboratories, and retailers will be the primary users of the new standard.