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ASTM E1231-19

ASTM E1231-19

Standard Practice for Calculation of Hazard Potential Figures of Merit for Thermally Unstable Materials

2019-09-12 /Active
Significance and Use:

5.1 This practice provides nine figures of merit which may be used to estimate the relative thermal hazard of thermally unstable materials. Since numerous assumptions must be made in order to obtain these figures of merit, care must be exercised to avoid too rigorous interpretation (or even misapplication) of the results.

5.2 This practice may be used for comparative purposes, specification acceptance, and research. It should not be used to predict actual performance.


1.1 This practice covers the calculation of hazard potential figures of merit for exothermic reactions, including:

(1) Time-to-thermal-runaway,

(2) Time-to-maximum-rate,

(3) Critical half thickness,

(4) Critical temperature,

(5) Adiabatic decomposition temperature rise,

(6) Explosion potential,

(7) Shock sensitivity,

(8) Instantaneous power density, and

(9) National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) instability rating.

1.2 The kinetic parameters needed in this calculation may be obtained from differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) curves by methods described in other documents.

1.3 This technique is the best applicable to simple, single reactions whose behavior can be described by the Arrhenius equation and the general rate law. For reactions which do not meet these conditions, this technique may, with caution, serve as an approximation.

1.4 The calculations and results of this practice might be used to estimate the relative degree of hazard for experimental and research quantities of thermally unstable materials for which little experience and few data are available. Comparable calculations and results performed with data developed for well characterized materials in identical equipment, environment, and geometry are key to the ability to estimate relative hazard.

1.5 The figures of merit calculated as described in this practice are intended to be used only as a guide for the estimation of the relative thermal hazard potential of a system (materials, container, and surroundings). They are not intended to predict actual thermokinetic performance. The calculated errors for these parameters are an intimate part of this practice and must be provided to stress this. It is strongly recommended that those using the data provided by this practice seek the consultation of qualified personnel for proper interpretation.

1.6 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.8 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

adiabatic decomposition temperature rise; adiabatic temperature rise; critical dimension; critical temperature; differential scanning calorimetry; explosion potential; hazard; instability rating; instantaneous power density; shock sensitivity; thermal analysis; thermal hazard; thermal runway;
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