Here we look at the UL standard 94-V0 which is used as a safety standard across a number of sectors relating to material’s flammability.
UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, an American Company similar to BSI, the British Standards Institute, in the UK. UL write safety standards that cover almost everything imaginable, and issue approvals for products that their auditing and counter testing says meets the requirements of a specified standard.
UL94 is a standard set by UL for testing for flammability of plastics however, the standard is widely used and accepted within the rubber industry. For UL94-V0 there are many different tests within UL94 including vertical, horizontal and 45° flame tests which all are given different classification designations. This particular one (V0) is a vertical flame test which depending on results, V-0, V-1, or V-2 classification can be achieved, V-0 is the most difficult to achieve and is what most customers require.
Where do UL94-V0 products get used?
Generally, UL standards are used as a safety rating in a wide range of applications, from telephone receivers and computer screens to domestic ovens and hot water boilers. Whenever people are concerned about the hazards as a result of their product burning, then UL94 is becoming the most commonly referenced standard where there is no pre-existing industry norm.
Naturally UL parts are used where it is important that in the event of a fire, silicone would play its part in keeping the fire at bay. Silicone is usually laminated onto or becomes a part in a “composite” and it is this composite that needs to ultimately meet the UL standard for flammability. Applications are too many to mention suffice to say that to enter into the American market, all household and domestic products such washing machines, televisions, vacuum cleaners as well as automotive and electrical/electronic wiring and components need to comply with UL at some point.