ISO 4589-3:2017 specifies methods for determining the minimum volume fraction of oxygen, in a mixture with nitrogen, that will support combustion of small vertical test specimens under specified test conditions over a range of temperatures between 25 °C and 150 °C. The range of temperatures is typically between 40 °C and 150 °C. The results are defined as temperature index values at the test temperature, which is typical of the practical temperature that a plastic material can experience in an overheated service situation.
Methods are provided for testing materials that are self-supporting at the test temperature in the form of vertical bars or sheet up to 10,5 mm thick. However, they are not applicable to form V which requires a supporting frame as defined in ISO 4589‑2:2017, Table 2. These methods are suitable for solid, laminated or cellular materials characterized by an apparent density 100 kg/m3 or higher. The methods are also applicable to some cellular materials having an apparent density of less than 100 kg/m3. A method is provided for testing flexible sheet or film materials while supported vertically.
ISO 4589-3:2017 also includes a method (see Annex A) for determining the temperature at which the OI of small vertical test specimens in air is 20,9 % under specified test conditions. The temperature at which this occurs is defined as the flammability temperature (FT) and the method is limited to the determination of temperatures less than 400 °C. The method is not applicable to materials having an OI of <20,9 %.