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Horizontal versus vertical positioning

Specimens molded from the plastic material are oriented in either a horizontal or vertical position depending on the specifications of the relevant test method, and they are subjected to a defined flame ignition source for a specified period of time. In some tests, the test flame is only applied once as is the case of the horizontal burning (HB) test, while in other tests the flame is applied at least twice.

An HB flame rating indicates that the material was tested in a horizontal position and found to burn at a rate less than a specified maximum.

The three vertical ratings, V2, V1 and V0 indicate that the material was tested in a vertical position and self-extinguished within a specified time after the ignition source was removed. The vertical ratings also indicate whether the test specimen dripped flaming particles that ignited a cotton indicator located below the sample. UL 94 also describes a method in which the test flame is applied for up to five applications in testing for a 5VA or 5VB classification. These small-scale tests measure the propensity of a material to extinguish or spread flames once it becomes ignited.

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