Flash Point

Flash Point

In general, the temperature at which the momentary flash occurs when the material is heated under controlled conditions is note as flash point. The flash point temperature is a measure of the tendency of the test specimen to form a flammable mixture with air under controlled laboratory conditions. It is only one of a number of properties that must be considered in assessing the overall flammability hazard of a material.

Depending on the characteristic of the material, they are classified as,

  • Class-A Petroleum: Liquids which have flash point below 23 Deg C
  • Class-B Petroleum: Liquids which have flash point of 23 Deg C
  • Class C Petroleum: Liquids which have flash point above but below 65 Deg C

What’s the need of Flash point testing?

  • Flash point is a very vital parameter in safe handling of petroleum products. It is used in shipping and safety regulations to define flammable and combustible materials and classify them. This definition may vary from regulation to regulation.
  • Flash point methodology can be applied to measure and describe the properties of materials in response to heat and an ignition source under controlled laboratory conditions and shall not be used to describe or appraise the fire hazard or fire risk of materials under actual fire conditions. However, results of this test method may be used as elements of a fire risk assessment, which takes into account all of the factors that are pertinent to an assessment of the fire hazard of a particular end use.
  • Flash point can also indicate the possible presence of highly volatile and flammable materials in a relatively nonvolatile or nonflammable material, such as the contamination of lubricating oils by small amounts of diesel fuel or gasoline.
  • Flash point testing is also important from refining point of view. Flash point gives fare idea of blending of various petroleum streams to meet the final product specifications.

It is important to be note that, Flash point values are not a constant physical-chemical property of products tested but they are a function of the methodology used, apparatus design, the condition of the apparatus used, and the operational procedure carried out. Flash point can therefore only be defined in terms of a standard test method, and no general valid correlation can be guaranteed between results obtained by different test methods or with test apparatus different from that specified.

Salient features of CCCFP test method:
CCC flash point test method is a dynamic method and depends on definite rates of temperature increase. It is one of the many flash point test methods available, and every flash point test method, including this one, is an empirical method.

This test method covers the determination of the flash point of fuel oils, lube oils, solvents, and other liquids by a continuously closed cup tester. The measurement is made on a test specimen of 1 milli Liter.

This test method utilizes a closed but unsealed cup with air injected into the test chamber.

This test method is suitable for testing samples with a flash point from 10°C to 250°C.

If the user's specification requires a defined flash point method other than this test method, neither this test method nor any other method should be substituted for the prescribed method without obtaining comparative data and an agreement from the specifier.

The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard. Temperatures are in degrees Celsius, and pressure is in kilo-pascals.

It is necessary to note that, Flash point determinations below 10°C and above 250°C can be performed; however, the precision has not been determined below and above these temperatures.

Method Summary (ASTM D6450):
The type of apparatus suitable for use in this test method employs a lid of solid brass, the temperature of which is controlled electrically. Two temperature sensors for the specimen and the lid temperatures, two electrically insulated pins for a high voltage arc, and a connecting tube for the pressure monitoring and the air introduction are incorporated in the lid. Associated equipment for electrically controlling the chamber temperature is used, and a digital readout of the specimen temperature is provided.

Advantages of apparatus: Analyzer measures in full compliance with the inherently safe CCCFP – Continuously Closed Cup Flash Point Methods ASTM D6450 and D7094 and the European equivalent IP620. The closed chamber completely avoids the risk of any fire in the lab during the whole measurement process. ASTM D7094 shows an excellent correlation to ASTM D93 (Pensky Martens) and even outperforms it in terms of precision.

With only one single analyzer this innovative technology supports an unprecedented temperature range of low and high temperatures and allows significantly shorter turnaround times than all other flash point testers on the market. Analyzer is equipped with a patented Peltier cooling block that provides a high thermal contact conductance when the oven is needed to cool down between tests