The 20/30410834 DC Standard is the correct and only method to determine if in fact those products can sustain combustion or not. It is the only acceptable test method to ascertain the potential fire hazard of these products.
The test method can be applied, both to help ensure the classification of a product and also for product labeling purposes to ensure placement on transport packaging.
According to the European Union Regulation n°1967/2002 of December 20th, 2002 on classification and labelling of dangerous substances and preparation for shipment, the 20/30410834 DC should be used to determine if paints and adhesives have the potential to sustain combustion. The Regulation also states the tests should only be performed on a dry sample and that weights should be calculated on the actual weight of the sample retained not as determined by difference measurement.
This standard specifies a procedure, at temperatures up to 100 °C, to determine whether or not a liquid product, that would be classified as “flammable” by virtue of its flash point, sustains combustion at the temperature or temperatures specified in the appropriate regulations.
Many national and international regulations classify liquids as presenting a flammable hazard on the basis of their flash point, as determined by a recognized method. Some of these regulations allow a derogation if the substance cannot “sustain combustion” at some specified temperature or temperatures.
In connection with the United Nations recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods as well as with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, and also with derived national/EC regulations, temperatures of 60,5 °C and 75,0 °C are specified for this test.
The procedure is applicable to paints (including water-borne paints), varnishes, paint binders, solvents, petroleum or related products and adhesives, which have a flash point. It is not applicable to painted surfaces in respect of assessing their potential fire hazards.
This test method is applicable, in addition to test methods for flash point, for assessing the fire hazard of a product.
Particular care needs to be taken in translating results from this test method to large scale (real life) situations, as liquids in large quantities can behave in different ways to small samples.
Why do you need the 20/30410834 DC Standard?
Under the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), the sample is firmly held in a vapor generating device and the test is judged by observing changes in the appearance of the liquid (when using this test to determine combustibility). If the sample sustains combustion, the test may be terminated at any time during the test. The GHS defines inflammability as “the ability of a material to burn fractions of it self or substances adjacent to it under particular circumstances”.
Products that can be deemed to be “flammable” include products currently considered to be misclassified as “combustible” when in fact they pose a significant fire hazard under certain circumstances and conditions. This test is then used to determine whether these products can sustain combustion or not and thus what they are classified as.