IMO 2010 FTP Code: Testing the suitability of materials for marine use

Materials used in marine vessels need to comply with the fire-safety standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2010. The requirements are generally stricter than for other building materials due to on-board conditions, such as limited space and difficulty of exiting the ship.

IMO 2010 marine vessel fire testing
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The IMO FTP 2010 code (International Maritime Organization Fire Testing Procedures Code) comprises testing requirements for non-flammable materials used in the construction of the ship, coatings used on floors and ceilings, and textiles used in the decoration of the vessel. The code is divided into eleven parts, which all specify the testing methods and flammability limits for specific materials. We provide the reaction to fire and flammability tests included in Parts 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, and 9 of the IMO 2010 code and corresponding EN ISO standards.

IMO 2010 Part 1: Non-combustibility test of building materials

The first part of the testing procedure code concerns building materials like mineral wools, plasterboards, and other non-combustible materials to be used on ships. IMO 2010 Part 1 non-combustibility testing is performed in a furnace at 750 ºC and requires five to ten pieces of sample material. Testing is based on the EN ISO 1182 standard for non-combustibility.

IMO 2010 Parts 2 & 5: Surface flammability, smoke, and toxicity tests

Parts 2 and 5 of the code apply to paints, varnishes, and other surface covering systems. IMO Part 2 smoke and toxicity tests are often performed with FTIR analysis (Fourier transform infrared analysis). The analyses measure the concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen chloride (HCl), hydrogen bromide (HBr), hydrogen fluoride (HF), hydrogen cyanide (HCN), nitrogen oxides NOx (NO + NO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the smoke produced by the burning material.

IMO Part 5 is about surface flammability and evaluates the system's ability to withstand a fire spreading along its surface. The tests also evaluate heat released during combustion. 

IMO 2010 Parts 7, 8, and 9: Testing of textiles

Parts 7 through 9 define the tests for textiles in different use cases: Part 7 specifies the testing requirements for vertically supported textiles like curtains and films, Part 8 concerns upholstered furniture, and Part 9 concerns bedding components like mattresses, pillows, and blankets. In these parts, small flame-impinging or smoldering cigarettes are used to evaluate burning behavior materials and products. 

Suitable sample matrices

  • Textiles
  • Bedding components like blankets, sheets and pillows
  • Furniture upholstering materials
  • Non-combustible building materials like mineral wools and plasterboards
  • Coatings like paints, varnishes and other surface protectors

IMO 2010 FTPC tests offered

  • Part 1 - Non-combustibility test
  • Part 2 - Smoke and toxicity test
  • Part 5 - Test for surface flammability
  • Part 7 - Test for vertically supported textiles and films
  • Part 8 - Test for upholstered furniture
  • Part 9 - Test for bedding components

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