Appendix B to Part 238 - Test Methods and Performance Criteria for the Flammability and Smoke Emission Characteristics of Materials Used in Passenger Cars and Locomotive Cabs
49:220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.86 : Appendix B
Appendix B to Part 238 - Test Methods and Performance Criteria for
the Flammability and Smoke Emission Characteristics of Materials
Used in Passenger Cars and Locomotive Cabs
This appendix contains the test methods and performance criteria
for the flammability and smoke emission characteristics of
materials used in passenger cars and locomotive cabs, in accordance
with the requirements of § 238.103.
(a) Incorporation by reference. Certain documents are
incorporated by reference into this appendix with the approval of
the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C.
552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may inspect a copy of each document
during normal business hours at the Federal Railroad
Administration, Docket Clerk, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE.,
Washington, DC 20950 or at the National Archives and Records
Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this
material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to:
The documents incorporated by reference into this appendix and the
sources from which you may obtain these documents are listed
(1) American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), 100 Barr
Harbor Dr., West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959.
(i) ASTM C 1166-00, Standard Test Method for Flame Propagation
of Dense and Cellular Elastomeric Gaskets and Accessories.
(ii) ASTM D 2724-87, Standard Test Methods for Bonded, Fused,
and Laminated Apparel Fabrics.
(iii) ASTM D 3574-95, Standard Test Methods for Flexible
Cellular Materials-Slab, Bonded, and Molded Urethane Foams.
(iv) ASTM D 3675-98, Standard Test Method for Surface
Flammability of Flexible Cellular Materials Using a Radiant Heat
(v) ASTM E 119-00a, Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of
Building Construction and Materials.
(vi) ASTM E 162-98, Standard Test Method for Surface
Flammability of Materials Using a Radiant Heat Energy Source.
(vii) ASTM E 648-00, Standard Test Method for Critical Radiant
Flux of Floor-Covering Systems Using a Radiant Heat Energy
(viii) ASTM E 662-01, Standard Test Method for Specific Optical
Density of Smoke Generated by Solid Materials.
(ix) ASTM E 1354-99, Standard Test Method for Heat and Visible
Smoke Release Rates for Materials and Products Using an Oxygen
(x) ASTM E 1537-99, Standard Test Method for Fire Testing of
(xi) ASTM E 1590-01, Standard Test Method for Fire Testing of
(2) General Services Administration, Federal Supply Service,
Specification Section, 470 E. L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Suite 8100,
Washington, DC, 20407. FED-STD-191A-Textile Test Method 5830,
Leaching Resistance of Cloth; Standard Method (July 20, 1978).
(3) State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau
of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation, 3485 Orange Grove
Avenue, North Highlands, CA 95660-5595.
(i) California Technical Bulletin (Cal TB) 129, Flammability
Test Procedure for Mattresses for Use in Public Buildings (October,
(ii) Cal TB 133, Flammability Test Procedure for Seating
Furniture for Use in Public Occupancies (January, 1991).
(b) Definitions. As used in this appendix -
Average heat release rate (q //180) means, as defined in
ASTM E 1354-99, the average heat release rate per unit area in the
time period beginning at the time of ignition and ending 180
Critical radiant flux (C.R.F.) means, as defined in ASTM
E 648-00, a measure of the behavior of horizontally-mounted floor
covering systems exposed to a flaming ignition source in a graded
radiant heat energy environment in a test chamber.
Flame spread index (Is) means, as defined in ASTM E
162-98, a factor derived from the rate of progress of the flame
front (Fs) and the rate of heat liberation by the material under
test (Q), such that Is = Fs × Q.
Flaming dripping means periodic dripping of flaming
material from the site of material burning or material
Flaming running means continuous flaming material leaving
the site of material burning or material installation.
Heat release rate means, as defined in ASTM E 1354-99,
the heat evolved from a specimen per unit of time.
Specific extinction area (σf) means, as defined in ASTM E
1354-99, specific extinction area for smoke.
Specific optical density (Ds) means, as defined in ASTM E
662-01, the optical density measured over unit path length within a
chamber of unit volume, produced from a specimen of unit surface
area, that is irradiated by a heat flux of 2.5 watts/cm 2 for a
specified period of time.
Surface flammability means the rate at which flames will
travel along surfaces.
(c) Required test methods and performance criteria. The
materials used in locomotive cabs and passenger cars shall be
tested according to the methods and meet the performance criteria
set forth in the following table and notes:
1 Materials tested for surface flammability shall not exhibit
any flaming running or dripping.
2 The ASTM E 662-01 maximum test limits for smoke emission
(specific optical density) shall be measured in either the flaming
or non-flaming mode, utilizing the mode which generates the most
3 Testing of a complete seat assembly (including cushions,
fabric layers, upholstery) according to ASTM E 1537-99 using the
pass/fail criteria of Cal TB 133, and testing of a complete
mattress assembly (including foam and ticking) according to ASTM E
1590-01 using the pass/fail criteria of Cal TB 129 shall be
permitted in lieu of the test methods prescribed herein, provided
the assembly component units remain unchanged or new (replacement)
assembly components possess equivalent fire performance properties
to the original components tested. A fire hazard analysis must also
be conducted that considers the operating environment within which
the seat or mattress assembly will be used in relation to the risk
of vandalism, puncture, cutting, or other acts which may expose the
individual components of the assemblies to an ignition source.
Notes 5, 6, 7, and 8 apply.
4 Testing is performed without upholstery.
5 The surface flammability and smoke emission characteristics
shall be demonstrated to be permanent after dynamic testing
according to ASTM D 3574-95, Test I 2 (Dynamic Fatigue Test by the
Roller Shear at Constant Force) or Test I 3 (Dynamic Fatigue Test
by Constant Force Pounding) both using Procedure B, except that the
test samples shall be a minimum of 6 inches (154 mm) by 18 inches
(457 mm) by the thickness of the material in its end use
configuration, or multiples thereof. If Test I 3 is used, the size
of the indentor described in paragraph 96.2 shall be modified to
accommodate the specified test specimen.
6 The surface flammability and smoke emission characteristics
shall be demonstrated to be permanent by washing, if appropriate,
according to FED-STD-191A Textile Test Method 5830.
7 The surface flammability and smoke emission characteristics
shall be demonstrated to be permanent by dry-cleaning, if
appropriate, according to ASTM D 2724-87.
8 Materials that cannot be washed or dry-cleaned shall be so
labeled and shall meet the applicable performance criteria after
being cleaned as recommended by the manufacturer.
9 Signage is not required to meet any flammability or smoke
emission performance criteria specified in this Appendix.
10 Materials used to fabricate miscellaneous, discontinuous
small parts (such as knobs, rollers, fasteners, clips, grommets,
and small electrical parts) that will not contribute materially to
fire growth in end use configuration are exempt from flammability
and smoke emission performance requirements, provided that the
surface area of any individual small part is less than 16 square
inches (100 cm 2) in end use configuration and an appropriate fire
hazard analysis is conducted which addresses the location and
quantity of the materials used, and the vulnerability of the
materials to ignition and contribution to flame spread.
11 If the surface area of any individual small part is less than
16 square inches (100 cm 2) in end use configuration, materials
used to fabricate such a part may be tested in accordance with ASTM
E 1354-99 as an alternative to both (a) the ASTM E 162-98
flammability test procedure, or the appropriate flammability test
procedure otherwise specified in the table, and (b) the ASTM E
662-01 smoke generation test procedure. Testing shall be at 50 kW/m
2 applied heat flux with a retainer frame. Materials tested in
accordance with ASTM E 1354-99 shall meet the following performance
criteria: average heat release rate (q // 180) less than or equal
to 100 kW/m 2, and average specific extinction area (σf) less than
or equal to 500 m 2/kg over the same 180-second period.
12 Carpeting used as a wall or ceiling covering shall be tested
according to ASTM E 162-98 and ASTM E 662-01 and meet the
respective criteria of I s less than or equal to 35 and D s (1.5)
less than or equal to 100 and D s (4.0) less than or equal to 200.
Notes 1 and 2 apply.
13 Floor covering shall be tested with padding in accordance
with ASTM E 648-00, if the padding is used in the actual
14 For double window glazing, only the interior glazing is
required to meet the requirements specified herein. (The exterior
glazing is not required to meet these requirements.)
15 Penetrations (ducts, etc.) shall be designed against acting
as passageways for fire and smoke and representative penetrations
shall be included as part of test assemblies.
16 A structural flooring assembly separating the interior of a
vehicle from its undercarriage shall meet the performance criteria
during a nominal test period as determined by the railroad. The
nominal test period must be twice the maximum expected time period
under normal circumstances for a vehicle to stop completely and
safely from its maximum operating speed, plus the time necessary to
evacuate all the vehicle's occupants to a safe area. The nominal
test period must not be less than 15 minutes. Only one specimen
need be tested. A proportional reduction may be made in the
dimensions of the specimen provided it serves to truly test the
ability of the structural flooring assembly to perform as a barrier
against under-vehicle fires. The fire resistance period required
shall be consistent with the safe evacuation of a full load of
passengers from the vehicle under worst-case conditions. For
purposes of this Note, the floor assembly of a vehicle in a Tier
III trainset may be tested together with undercar design features
that separate the vehicle from the fire source, i.e., skirts
and bottom covers, to protect against a fire source under and
external to the vehicle. To assess the safety associated with
testing the floor assembly in this manner, and to protect against a
fire source under the floor assembly but internal to the vehicle,
safety must also be demonstrated by conducting a fire hazard
analysis that includes the considerations in Note 17.
17 Portions of the vehicle body which separate major ignition
sources, energy sources, or sources of fuel-load from vehicle
interiors, shall have sufficient fire endurance as determined by a
fire hazard analysis acceptable to the railroad which addresses the
location and quantity of the materials used, as well as
vulnerability of the materials to ignition, flame spread, and smoke
generation. These portions include equipment carrying portions of a
vehicle's roof and the interior structure separating the levels of
a bi-level car, but do not include a flooring assembly subject to
Note 16. A railroad is not required to use the ASTM E 119-00a test
[67 FR 42910, June 25, 2002, as amended at 74 FR 25175, May 27,
2009; 83 FR 59228, Nov. 21, 2018]