Q:

Where can I find a list of non-combustible materials?

A:

Underwriters Laboratories and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are excellent resources for the listing of non-combustible materials. UL provides safety testing and certification in various sectors, while OSHA maintains well-known safety data sheets.

Underwriters Laboratories performs safety analysis for electronics and building materials among other sectors. It analyzes building materials such as steel, wallboard, epoxies and fire-resistant treatments. With laboratories located throughout the world, UL tests and awards compliance certification to clients in many countries. Once UL finds a product to be non-combustible, the material requires no further testing and typically carries a UL label. To determine fire resistance in a material, simply look for the holographic UL label.

OSHA standardizes material compliance using safety data sheets. This is an excellent resource to locate safety information, including combustibility, on nearly any material. The classic Material Safety Data Sheet includes a small diamond with four sections, each pertaining to a particular hazard. The red section relates to combustibility, or fire hazard. It contains a number from zero to four. A zero means that the material is not combustible. A one indicates combustibility when heated. A two means the substance has a flashpoint above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. A three indicates that it has a flashpoint below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and a four indicates extreme flammability.

While there are far too many potentially non-combustible materials to place in a single list, UL and OSHA are excellent beginning resources. Also, many health and safety companies and university science departments maintain a searchable index of safety sheets that are easily accessible to the public.


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