General Plastics’ testing facilities receive FAA certification for OSU (Heat Release) and NBS (Smoke Density) Testing

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Leading high-density polyurethane foam supplier invests in new equipment, augments testing capabilities to better serve Aerospace Industry

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General Plastics' FST Chamber

We have a long and successful history with the aerospace industry, and the new equipment along with the FAA certification will enable us to serve that industry in an even bigger capacity

General Plastics recently completed an extensive audit and certification process with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on its OSU (Heat Release) and NBS (Smoke Density) testing equipment, adding to the last FAA certification received in 2010 for its oil burner test. Representatives from the FAA Seattle ACO (Aircraft Certification Office) conducted a thorough evaluation of the burn lab test facility, inspected the installation and operation of the new equipment, and assessed written internal procedures.

“We are very excited to expand our capabilities in testing services,” said General Plastics President, Bruce Lind. “We have a long and successful history with the aerospace industry, and the new equipment along with the FAA certification will enable us to serve that industry in an even bigger capacity.”

The testing equipment from Marlin Engineering, the ME 1100-1 Smoke Density Chamber and the ME 1200-1 Heat Release Chamber, received FAA approval for use. The Smoke Density Chamber measures the optical density of smoke generated from a material exposed to a heat source. The test lasts four minutes, and within this time frame, FAA standards stipulate that the Specific Optical Density cannot exceed 200. The Heat Release Chamber measures the rate at which materials release heat. The FAA standard is 65/65, meaning the established acceptable peak heat release and total heat release over two minutes is 65 kW/m2 and 65 kW min/m2 respectively.

All aspects of the equipment were reviewed, and a series of material tests were conducted to evaluate the performance of the equipment and its operation. Test results were compared to known standards for evaluation.

After a full review by the FAA, General Plastics received written approval of its new equipment and its operation. The approval applies to tests accomplished in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 25, Appendix F, Part IV for Heat Release and Part V for Smoke Density. These additional capabilities will be included in Appendix F of the FAA Materials Fire Test Handbook, listing laboratories performing flammability testing.

A dedicated Testing Services group offers a wide range of flammability, mechanical, thermal and developmental tests in General Plastics’ on-site testing laboratory. Our quality assurance and test laboratories offer the following and more:

•FAA certified burn test facility

  •      Park oil burner
  •      Bunsen burners
  •      Heat release
  •      Smoke density
  •      Smoke toxicity

•10-meter guided-wire drop tower
•Computer-controlled universal test machines
•Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM)
•ROMER Arm (portable CMM)
•Optical Comparator
•Hydrostatic test equipment

Tacoma, Washington-based General Plastics Manufacturing Company has been a leading innovator in the plastics industry for more than 70 years. The company develops and manufactures rigid and flexible polyurethane foam products, which include its signature LAST-A FOAM® brand series and build-to-print composite parts.

Directly or through its network of distributors, General Plastics supplies the aerospace and defense, nuclear containment, composite core, prototype and modeling, construction, dimensional signage, testing, marine and the renewable energies industries. General Plastics is certified to ISO 9001:2008/AS9100C and meets rigorous demands of a number of leading quality systems, including but not limited to NQA-1, Mil-I-45208A and Boeing Company D6-82479. Please visit

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Karen Lago
since: 02/2012
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