Test methods for measuring the time to ignition and rate of flame spread of fabrics subjected to sparks from hand angle grinders are required by the HSE as they are a regular cause of burns. Ten fabrics were tested (sixteen, including variants), many fabrics could ignite after less than a minute with one fabric igniting after ten seconds. Natural fabrics tended to form a protective carbonaceous char whereas synthetic fabrics tended to melt and form a hole around the stream of sparks, preventing or reducing the likelihood of ignition. Most fabrics showed a well-defined rate of flame spread which was usually significantly faster in the inclined position, overall rates between 9mm/min and 891 mm/min were measured.
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