What is the Manikin Test (ASTM F1930)?

ASTM F1930, more commonly known as the manikin test, specifies a standard process for measuring the average predicted body burn of a flame resistant fabric based on a laboratory flash fire simulation. It details the specific procedures necessary to perform the test, which ensures accuracy and consistency from one lab to another or at a singular lab over time, but does not provide pass/fail criteria. This is true of almost all ASTM standards – they are test methods, which generally do not contain performance criteria.

As Scott Margolin, Subject Matter Expert, explains in the video below, the pass/fail criteria are placed around ASTM F1930 by other standards such as NFPA 2112, the flash fire standard for FR clothing and NFPA F2733, the flash fire standard for FR rainwear. These standards require exposure to a 3 second propane fueled fire, and the average of 3 tests must be 50% or less 2nd and 3rd degree body burn to pass NFPA 2112 and 40% or less body burn to pass NFPA F2733. The results predict the exact extent, severity, and location of 2nd and 3rd degree body burn combined.

Watch our video below to see ASTM F1930 in action:

Here’s how the test is performed:

  • The fabric is sewn into a standard coverall pattern. This coverall is size 42R, with no pocket bags, cuffs pockets or other discretionary areas of multiple layer fabric.
  • The coverall is placed on an instrumented, stationary manikin, which has at least 100 thermocouples on its surface, excluding the hands and feet, and exposed to a propane flash fire.
  • Sensors measure heat transfer through the fabric to evaluate performance of single layer garments or protective clothing ensembles in the simulated flash fire environment with controlled heat flux, flame distribution, and duration.
  • Heat transmitted to each sensor on the surface of the manikin records the location, extent and severity of burn injury. Total 2nd and 3rd degree burn is the focus.
  • The visual and physical changes to the single layer garment or protective clothing ensemble are recorded to aid in understanding how the burn injury results can be interpreted.
  • After-flame is recorded for duration, but not for extent of body surface.
  • The measurements obtained and observations noted can only apply to the particular garment(s) or ensemble(s) tested using the specified heat flux, duration, and flame distribution.

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