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September 09, 2014

Automatic Gas Controller Improved in Response to ASTM D6413

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International has recently revised the D6413/D6413M Standard Test Method for Flame Resistance of Textiles. This test method determines the vertical flame resistance of a textile in response to a standard ignition source, deriving measurement values for afterflame time, afterglow time, and char length. In response to this update, SDL Atlas has modified their Automatic Gas Controller (AGC) which is used in the SDL Atlas Vertical Flammability Chamber and the Atlas HVUL2 Horizontal Vertical Flame Chamber.

The AGC modification specifically addresses the distance between the solenoid valve and burner which, as in the previous standard, could allow the flame to linger past the test’s termination. Originally the solenoid was built into the AGC main unit and connected by a short gas hose which. After the flame impingement timer shut off the gas supply solenoid, the residue gas that existed inside the connection hose had the potential to continue to ignite the burner until the gas was fully consumed. Some users worried such lingering effect prolonged the flame application time, thus affected the test result. The length of time for which a material [the test specimen] continues to flame after the ignition source has been removed is commonly referred to as the afterflame.

Brian Shiels of PBI Performance Products, a global leader of flame resistant products, is very familiar with the test and his group is a daily user of ASTM D6413. “The lingering afterflame was always an aggravation for us and our partners.  Depending on the location and the setup of their controls, the afterflame posed questions about if the test was truly valid. The incorporation of the external solenoid system has effectively eliminated that question”.

SDL Atlas representatives worked diligently with the ASTM committee in drafting the standard update to eliminate this lingering effect by bringing the solenoid valve closer to the burner. With the enhanced SDL Atlas AGC burner, the solenoid valve is installed just next to the Bunsen burner, within the distance that required by the ASTM D6413 update.

All new SDL Atlas Vertical Flammability Chambers and Atlas HVUL2 Horizontal Vertical Flame Chambers will have the modified AGC effective immediately. Additionally, existing users can get a solenoid retrofit kit for their existing AGC and easily convert their machine to the new arrangement.

With offices in the United States, Hong Kong and China, plus agents in over 100 countries, SDL Atlas is the world leader in textile testing equipment. SDL Atlas provides customers with confidence in standards based testing through expertise and global partnering.

For more information, visit or contact an SDL Atlas solutions expert:

-          (US) T: +1 803 329 2110; E: [email protected] 

-          (Hong Kong) T: +852 3443 4888; E: [email protected] 

-          (China) T: +86 755 2671 1168; E: [email protected] 

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