FMVSS 302 Assessment of the fire behavior of automotive components

FMVSS 302 Assessment of the fire behavior of automotive components

1. Introduction

In order to ensure the safety of vehicles in the event of a fire, flammability requirements are imposed on the materials and components that are used in the vehicles. This will enable occupants to leave the vehicle in the event of an initial fire and/or to at least delay the spread of fire in the event of smaller primary ignition sources.

The requirement for a limited horizontal burning rate is imposed on all the interior fitting materials used in
the passenger compartments of vehicles and buses on a worldwide basis.

Within the European Community, motor coaches holding more than 22 occupants (vehicle class M3) are subject to additional requirements on the melting
behavior of materials used for roof liners and adjacent materials, as well as on the vertical burning rate of curtains, blinds and other draped materials.
Safety glazing and windshield materials for vehicles and vehicle trailers must be assessed in accordance
with the requirements of Directive 92/22/EEC.

Directive 2000/8/EC additionally stipulates requirements on the plastic fuel tanks fitted in vehicles.

2. Test methods, standards, regulations

Directive 95/28/EC (Official Journal EC No. L 281) supplements and replaces national regulations and legislation within the European Community.

Directive 95/28/EC also contains the method that is applied internationally for determining the horizontal burning rate of components to be used in vehicle interiors. Deviations occur in the different national requirements as a result of rounding errors in relation to the American system of units, but these are not significant.

Directive 95/28/EC, which comprises a total of 6 Annexes, describes tests for determining burning behavior in Annexes IV, V an