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FABRIC IDENTIFICATION

Burn Test - CAUTION. WARNING. BE CAREFUL! This should


only be done by skilled burners! Make sure there is a bucket of
water nearby and that you burn in a metal bucket or non-plastic
sink.
To identify fabric that is unknown, a simple burn test can be done to
determine if the fabric is a natural fiber, man made fiber, or a blend
of natural and man made fibers. The burn test is used by many
fabric stores and designers and takes practice to determine the
exact fiber content. However, an inexperienced person can still
determine the difference between many fibers to narrow the
choices down to natural or man made fibers. This elimination
process will give information necessary to decide the care of the
fabric.
!"#$%$&' "ll fibers will burn! "sbestos treated fibers are, for the
most part fire proof. The burning test should be done with caution.
(se a small piece of fabric only. Hold the fabric with twee)ers, not
your fingers. *urn over a metal dish with soda in the bottom or even
water in the bottom of the dish. +ome fabrics will ignite and melt.
The result is burning drips which can adhere to fabric or skin and
cause a serious burn.
,otton is a plant fiber. !hen ignited it burns with a steady flame and
smells like burning leaves. The ash left is easily crumbled. +mall
samples of burning cotton can be blown out as you would a candle.
-inen is also a plant fiber but different from cotton in that the
individual plant fibers which make up the yarn are long where cotton
fibers are short. -inen takes longer to ignite. The fabric closest to
the ash is very brittle. -inen is easily extinguished by blowing on it
as you would a candle.
+ilk is a protein fiber and usually burns readily, not necessarily with
a steady flame, and smells like burning hair. The ash is easily
crumbled. +ilk samples are not as easily extinguished as cotton or
linen.
!ool is also a protein fiber but is harder to ignite than silk as the
individual hair fibers are shorter than silk and the weave of the
fabrics is generally looser than with silk. The flame is steady but
more difficult to keep burning. The smell of burning wool is like
burning hair.
Man Made .ibers
"cetate is made from cellulose /wood fibers0, technically cellulose
acetate. "cetate burns readily with a flickering flame that cannot be
easily extinguished. The burning cellulose drips and leaves a hard
ash. The smell is similar to burning wood chips.

"crylic technically acrylonitrile is made from natural gas and
petroleum. "crylics burn readily due to the fiber content and the
lofty, air filled pockets. " match or cigarette dropped on an acrylic
blanket can ignite the fabric which will burn rapidly unless
extinguished. The ash is hard. The smell is acrid or harsh.
$ylon is a polyamide made from petroleum. $ylon melts and then
burns rapidly if the flame remains on the melted fiber. %f you can
keep the flame on the melting nylon, it smells like burning plastic.
1olyester is a polymer produced from coal, air, water, and

Filtration Fabrics, Fiber Ienti!ication Burn Test
Most fabrics can be identified in the field by conducting a very simple burn test. " small piece of
fabric, approximately one-2uarter inch wide by two inches long /345 6 70, taken from a cuff, will
be sufficient for the test. To identify the fabric, 8ust ignite one end and let the test piece burn back
for a distance of about one inch /30, then compare the characteristics to the fiber characteristics
below.
Fabric Burnin" C#aracteristics Oor As#
Cotton
*ums with a flame. Has an
afterglow.
*urning paper *lack and powdery
$ol%ester&
Melts and bums with a sputtering
flame. &ives off thick black smoke
.aintly sweet,
slight
geranium
odor
Hard, black, round and
shiny
$ol%'ro'%lene
Melts and bums with steady flame.
,lear flame, no smoke. -ooks like
melting glass. Melted portion is
clear.
9ery little
odor. +light
celery, odor
Hard, turns opa2ue
N%lon
Melts and bums with sputtering
flame. &ives off white smoke
*urning
garbage
Hard, round, gray or
brown, shiny
No(e)*
9ery slow to ignite. !ill not support
combustion. $o melting. Material
chars and curls up
.aintly sweet *lack, dull finish crushes
into black powder
Acr%lic
Melts and bums rapidly. +puttering .aintly sweet, #esembles burned head
flame. Mick black smoke slight hot
iron odor
of wooden match:
crunibles into black or
brownish orange powder
$ro'erties o! te)tile !ibers !or lo+ an (eiu( te('eratures
Fiber&s Generic
Na(e, Trae
Na(e
Cotton $ol%a(i
N%lon ,,
$ol%'ro'%lene
-erculon.R/
$ol%ester
Dacron.R/
Acr%lic
Co'ol%(er
Orlon.R/
-o(o'ol%(er
Acr%lic Dacron
T
Reco((ene
continuos
o'eration te('
.r% #eat/
3;<=.
;7=,
7<<=.
>5=,
7<<=./30 >5=, 7?<=.
3@7=,
75;=.
37<=,
7;5=.
35<=,
Water 0a'or
saturate
conition .(oist
#eat/
3;<=.
;7=,
7<<=.
>5=,
7<<=.
>5=,
7<<=./70
>5=,
7@<=.
33<=,
7A<=.
37B=,
1a)i(u( .s#ort
ti(e/ O'eration
te(' .r% -eat/
7<<=.
>5=,
7B<=.
373=,
77B=.
3<?=,
@<<=.
3B<=,
75;=.
37<=,
7;5=.
35<=,
2'eci!ic ensit% 3.B 3.35 <.> 3.@; 3.3A 3.3?
Relati0e
(oisture re"ion
in 3 .at ,45F
6 ,73 relati0e
(oisture/
;.B 5.<-5.B <.3 <.5 3 3
2u''orts
co(bustion
Ces Ces Ces Ces $o Ces
Biolo"ical
Resistance
.bacteria,
(ile+/
$o, %f
not
treated
$o Dffect Dxcellent $o Dffect 9ery &ood 9ery &ood
Resistance to
al8alis
&ood &ood Dxcellent .air .air .air
Resistance to
(ineral acis
1oor 1oor Dxcellent .air &ood 9ery &ood
Resistance to
or"anic acis
1oor 1oor Dxcellent .air &ood Dxcellent
Resistance to
o)ii9in" a"ents
.air .air &ood &ood &ood &ood
Resistance to
or"anic
sol0ents
9ery
&ood
9ery &ood Dxcellent &ood 9ery &ood 9ery &ood
For r% !iltration, -i"# Te('ratures -ot Gas
Fiber&s Generic
Na(e, Trae
Na(e
$ol%'#en%lene
2ul!ie
R%ton.R/
Ara(i
No(e).R/
Glass
Fiber"lass.R/
$TFE
Te!lon.R/
$ol%ben9i(ia9ole
$BI.R/
1etal
Be8ino).R/
Cera(ic
Ne)tel
:;<.R/
Reco((ene
continuos
o'eration te('
.r% #eat/
@?B=.
3><=,
5<<=.
7<5=,
B<<=.
7A<=,
B<<=.
7A<=,
B<<=.
7A<=,
;5<=.
5B<=,
73<<=.
33B<=,
Water 0a'or
saturate
conition
.(oist #eat/
@?B=.
3><=,
@B<=.
3??=,
B<<=.
7A<=,
B<<=./@0
7A<=,
B<<=.
7A<=,
?B<=.
5<<=,
73<<=.
33B<=,
1a)i(u(
.s#ort ti(e/
O'eration te('
.r% -eat/
5B<=.
7@7=,
5B<=.
7@7=,
BB<=.
7><=,
BB<=.
7><=,
AB<=.
@5@=,
>B<=.
B3<=,
7A<<=.
357?=,
2'eci!ic
ensit%
3.@; 3.@; 7.B5 7.@ 3.5@ ?.> 7.?
Relati0e
(oisture
re"ion in 3 .at
,45F
6 ,73 relati0e
(oisture/
<.A 5.B < < 35 < <
2u''orts
co(bustion
$o $o $o $o $o $o $o
Biolo"ical
Resistance
.bacteria,
(ile+/
$o Dffect $o Dffect $o Dffect $o Dffect $o Dffect $o Dffect $o Dffect
Resistance to
al8alis
Dxcellent &ood .air Dxcellent &ood 9ery &ood &ood
Resistance to
(ineral acis
Dxcellent .air 9ery &ood Dxcellent Dxcellent 9ery &ood 9ery
&ood
Resistance to
or"anic acis
Dxcellent .air 9ery &ood Dxcellent Dxcellent 9ery &ood 9ery
&ood
Resistance to
o)ii9in"
a"ents
5 1oor Dxcellent Dxcellent .air 9ery &ood Dxcellent
Resistance to
or"anic
sol0ents
Dxcellent 9ery &ood 9ery &ood Dxcellent Dxcellent 9ery &ood Dxcellent
/30 E 7B< . for Type 3B5
/70 E $ot #ecomended
/@0 E 5?B . for reverse air and shaker collector
/50 E 11+ fiber is attached by strong oxidi)ing agents /for example, at 7<< . for ? days0