Needle Flame Testing IEC 60695-11-5

Safety for Electrotechnical Equipment and Insulating Materials

The needle flame test, in accordance with IEC 60695-11-5, is a specialized fire hazard testing method developed to assess the flammability of plastics and insulation materials.

In this test, a standardized test flame, resembling a needle, is directed at the material for a defined period. The goal is to evaluate the material's reaction to possible ignition. The small test flame, generated with butane gas, mimics a potential ignition source as it might occur in real applications near the material. Strict adherence to the standard specifications outlined in IEC 60695-11-5 enables a standardized and comparable assessment of the flammability of various plastics. Also standardized in: DIN EN 60695-11-5 and VDE 0471-11-5:2005-11.

Results from the needle flame test contribute to ensuring the safety of electrical products by identifying and minimizing potential fire risks early on. In this regard, needle flame testing plays a crucial role in certifying and assessing conformity for products utilized in electrical applications.

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Lab Video: IEC 60695-11-5

Procedure of the Needle Flame Test

In today's video we show a needle flame test according to IEC 60695-11-5. The flame height is 12mm. In the test position of the horizontal test set-up, the distance between the burner and the test specimen is 8 mm. Unless otherwise stated in the respective specification, the test is carried out on three test specimens.

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Test Method

Criteria for Needle Flame Testing

The flame height is 12 mm. In the test position of the horizontal test set-up, the distance between the burner and the test sample is 8 mm. Unless otherwise stated in the respective specification, the test is carried out on three test specimens.

The test sample has successfully passed the needle flame test if one of the following criteria applies:

  • The tissue paper does not ignite and there is no flame or smoldering of the test sample after the needle flame is removed.

  • Flames or glowing of the test sample and the surrounding parts extinguish within 30 seconds after the needle flame is removed.

  • The surrounding parts have not burned away completely and the tissue paper has not ignited.

Related Safety Standards

Fire Hazard Testing

  • IEC 60695-2-10
    Glow Wire Test equipment and general test method. Adopted in EN 60695-2-10, DIN EN 60695-2-10 and VDE 0471-2-10.

  • IEC 60695-2-11
    Flammability of end products (GWEPT). Adopted in EN 60695-2-11, DIN EN 60695-2-11 and VDE 0471-2-11.
    The test results can be considered positive if no ignition occurs or if ignition occurs and the flame or glow of the test sample extinguishes within 30 seconds after removal of the glow wire and the tissue paper under the test sample is not ignited.

  • IEC 60695-2-12
    Flammability of materials (GWFI: Glow Wire Flammability Index). Adopted in EN 60695-2-12, DIN EN 60695-2-12 and VDE 0471-2-12.
    The GWFI is the highest temperature at which the material either does not ignite or self extinguishes within 30 seconds after the heating element is removed and the tissue paper under the test specimen does not ignite.

  • IEC 60695-2-13
    Flammability of materials (GWIT: Glow Wire Ignition Temperature). Adopted in EN 60695-2-13, DIN EN 60695-2-13 and VDE 0471-2-13.
    The GWIT is the temperature that is 25 °C higher than the maximum test temperature at which the tested material will not ignite, or at which no sustained and continuous flame combustion occurs for a period of more than 5 s for a single flame event and the sample is not completely combusted.

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