Limited flame spread

EN ISO 15025:2002

This test measures the limited spread of flames of vertically oriented textile fabrics (one or several layers), when subjected to a flame.

A defined flame is applied for 10 seconds to the surface of the fabric, whereupon one ascertains:

  • whether the flame reaches the edge of the tested fabric
  • how long the flame persists
  • whether the incandescence spreads
  • whether there are burning remains
  • whether a hole is formed.
Sioen - A firefighter suit is subjected to a flame to test its resistance

Heat transmission after exposure to a flame of 80kW/m2

EN 367

This test defines a method to compare the heat transfer index (HTI) of materials and material assemblies.

Each fabric sample is exposed horizontally to an intensive heat flux of 80kW/m².

The heat which passes through the fabric(s) is measured with a copper calorimeter.
The average value of 3 tests is calculated.

  • 12°C: HTI12° correlates with the threshold of pain of a human being (first degree burns).
  • 24°C: HTI24° correlates with second degree burns of the human skin (blisters).

HTI24-HTI12 is the reaction time between +12°C and +24° C.

The EN 367 test indicates 2 performance levels in the EN 469 standard: a lower protection level, Xf1 and a higher protection level Xf2.

Sioen - A test in which a fabric sample is exposed horizontally to an intensive heat flux

Heat Transfer Radiation

EN ISO 6942

The EN ISO 6942 test exposes the fabrics to an intensive radiant heat of 40kW/m2 and determines the values of the RHTI12 (first degree burns) and the RHTI24 (second degree burns) and those of the RHTI24-RHTI12 as reaction time.

The EN ISO 6942 indicates two performance levels in the EN 469 standard: a lower protection level Xr1 and a higher protection level Xr2.

Sioen - A radiant heat system is shown

Tensile strength of outer fabrics after exposition to a radiant heat of 10 kW/m2 in accordance with EN ISO 6942

EN ISO 13934‑1

The fabrics are tested after a preceding treatment and after exposure to a radiant heat flux of 10 kW/m2. The resistance of the fabric has to be higher than 450N to guarantee resistant garments.

Sioen - The tensile strength of an outer fabric is tested

Thermal resistance of every material at 180°C

ISO 17493

During the ISO 17493 test all the materials are exposed to a temperature of 180°C for 5 minutes. Not one of the materials of the garment (fabrics, zippers, thread, stripings,...) can inflame, melt or present a shrinkage higher than 5%.

The used accessories have to function at the end of the test.

Sioen - A detail of a Sioen Fire suit is shown

Tensile Strength of Outer Fabric

EN ISO 13934-1 (outer fabric)

During the test the material has to present a minimum tensile strength of 450N.

Sioen - the tensile strength of a fluorescent fabric is tested

Tensile Strength of the Seams

EN ISO 13935‑2

The principal seams of the outer material have to present a minimum tensile strength of ≥ 225N.

Sioen - A close-up of a tensile strength test

Tear strength Single Tear Method

EN ISO 13937‑2

The outer material has to present a minimum tear strength of 25N when the fabric already presents a tear.

Sioen - A fabric is held by a tear system and torn apart

Spray test

EN 24920

This standard indicates the water repellency of outer fabrics.
The test materials have to be washed and dried in accordance with the specifications of the manufacturer before the testing.

The outer material has to reach a minimum score of 4 (5 being the highest score). The test has to be performed even when the assembly has a waterproof barrier.

Sioen - Water is sprinkled on a fabric to test the water repellency

Dimensional change

ISO 5077

This test makes sure that the materials won't shrink or deform after they have been washed.
The dimensional change has to be equal to or lower than ± 3% in both directions after 5 washing and drying cycles. Every material layer (or the different components of an assembly for multi-layered garments) has to be tested individually and in the assembly.

Sioen - Someone is using a measuring tape

Resistance to Penetration by Liquid Chemicals

EN ISO 6530

The materials have to be washed and dried in accordance with the specifications of the manufacturer before being tested.

The chemical products are applied for 10 sec. The assembly can on no account present penetration in the inner surface (penetration 0%) whilst the repulsion has to be more than 80%.

Used chemicals
NaOH sodium hydroxide 40%
HCI hydrochloric acid 36%
H2SO4 sulphuric acid 30%
C8H10 O-xylene 100%
Sioen - A fabric is held by a system and its resistance to liquid chemicals is tested

Water vapour resistance

EN 31092

The entire assembly is tested to verify the breathability of the assembly. This standard determines 2 levels of resistance limiting breathability:

Level 1 = Z1

Higher than 30 Pa/W m² (< 45 Pa/W m²)
The water vapour resistance is high, the garment has a poor breathability. The EN 469 warns that a high water vapour resistance can involve an increased risk on burns caused by water vapour.

Level 2 = Z2

≤ 30m² Pa/W
A lower water vapour resistance, the garment has a better breathability. It has to be noted that suits without membrane are far more breathable (< 10m²Pa/W).

Sioen - Several fabrics are on a metal grid next

Water penetration resistance

EN 20811

This test submits the assembly to hydrostatic pressure. The water penetration resistance has to reach one of the following levels:

  1. Level 1 Y1 < 20 kPa: for the parts of the garment without waterproof barrier
  2. Level 2 Y2 ≥ 20 kPa: for the parts of the garment with waterproof barrier
Sioen - a water penetration test is performed

Would you like to see the tests with your own eyes?

As a customer, you can attend the tests in our in-house laboratory. That way, you can witness our products’ extremely high quality with your own eyes. Contact our team to find out more about this opportunity.