Fire Safety for Automotive Applications

2016 saw 55,000 vehicle fires in Europe, with 65 resulting deaths*. These figures highlight a growing demand from vehicle manufacturers for effective fire-resistant applications.

Automotive fire safety regulation began with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard # 302 (FMVSS 302), created in the 1970s. FMVSS 302 is a fire safety standard relating to the burning behaviour of materials inside road vehicles, and it simulates ignition from a cigarette via a 15-second test in a combustion chamber.

A typical 1970s car contained at most 30kg of plastics, and that has increased to 150kg or more in today’s cars. Higher levels of plastics can add significantly to fire risk, and automotive manufacturers are now also considering ignition sources beyond cigarettes. For example, a post-crash fire creates an ignition source that can be far more intense than that provided by a cigarette.

Label converters are now asked to provide materials that ensure vehicle components are sufficiently flame-retardant to allow vehicle occupants enough time to escape from a burning vehicle. A greater emphasis is placed on label materials that pass FMVSS 302 and technically equivalent OEM standards.

Avery Dennison provides the portfolio and the full technical support needed to create successful fire-resistant automotive applications. Our materials can comply with regulation not only when attached to metal, but also on their own and when applied to ‘real world’ substrates. Ask your usual sales representative about high performance materials that can be used with confidence when selling into the automotive segment.

* Center of Fire Statistics: “World Fire Statistics 2016” and International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics)