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The SOLAS international convention is administered by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Today, SOLAS covers almost all types of commercial ships engaged in international service and has been ratified by all major maritime nations.

IMO methods (based on SOLAS agreement) concerning the reaction to fire properties of surface lining materials consist of 11 test methods (see table below).

Table 1: International code for application of fire test procedures according to Resolution MSC.(61)67

FTP Code PartsTest descriptionTest reference
1Non-combustibility testISO 1182:1990
2Smoke and toxicityISO 5659:1994, Part2
(IMO Res. A.653(16))
(IMO Res. A.687(17))
(IMO Res. A.753(18))
(IMO Res. MSC.41(64))
3A,B and F class divisionsIMO Res. A.754(18)
4Fire door control systemsIMO Res. A.754(18)
5Surface flammabilityIMO Res.A.653(16)
(ISO 1716:1973)
6Primary deck coveringsIMO Res. A.687(17)
7Vertically supported textilesIMO Res.A.471(XII)
as amended by IMO Res. A.563(14)
8Upholstered furnitureIMO Res. A.652(16)
9Bedding componentsIMO Res. A.688(17)
10 (coming)Fire restricting materials for high speed craftIMO MSC.40(64) as amended
11 (coming)Fire resisting divisions for high speed craftIMO MSC.45(65)

Some main resolution are detailed below:
  • RESOLUTION A.653(16) : recommendation on improved fire test procedures for surface flammability of bulkhead, ceiling and deck finish materials. 
    Experimental results are reported in terms of: heat for ignition, heat for sustained burning, critical flux at extinguishment and heat release of specimen during burning. In this method heat release calculation is based on the temperature measuring.

  • RESOLUTION A.687 (17) : fire test procedures for ignitability of primary deck coverings.
    This resolution specifies a procedure for evaluating the ignitability of the primary deck coverings. The deck covering should be tested in accordance with the previously described Res A.653 (16). The deck covering is classified according to the requirements of floor coverings specified in Res.A.653(16).

  • RESOLUTION MSC.41(64) : interim standard for measuring smoke and toxic products of combustion.
    This standard specifies a procedure for qualifying smoke generation and toxic potency of materials used on board ships. Smoke generation tests should be conducted, in general, in accordance with the ISO 5659-2. When making toxicity measurements, the sampling fumes should be made during the testing of the second or the third specimen at each test condition, from the geometrical centre of the chamber within 3 min of the time when the maximum optical density of smoke is reached. The concentration of each toxic gas is determined as ppm in the chamber volume. The following gases are measured: CO, CO2, HCl, HBr, HF, HCN, NOX, SO2, acrolein and formaldehyde and shall no exceed the specified limits.

The concentration measured at each test should not exceed the following limits:

Table 1: toxicity classification criteria

Flaming settlementPresence of pilot flameAbsence of pilot flameAbsence of pilot flame
Irradiance, kW/m2252550
CO yield, ppm vol145014501450
CO2 yield, ppm vol600006000060000
HCl yield, ppm vol310310310
HBr yield, ppm vol505050
HF yield, ppm vol590590590
HCN yield, ppm vol140140140
NOX yield, ppm vol350350350
SO2 yield, ppm vol120120120
Acrolein yield, ppm vol1.71.71.7
Formaldehyde yield, ppm vol3.23.23.2