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The revised AATCC Test Method 124

Author: Released in:2019-08-16 Click:743

The Commission of amendments is amending the flammability standards for carpets and rugs and for small carpets and rugs by revising the laundering procedure specified in those standards. The laundering procedures help assure that any fire retardant treatment used on carpets or on fibers used in the manufacture of carpets will not be removed or degraded by cleaning, thereby creating a flammability hazard. The Commission is issuing these amendments because the detergent specified by the existing laundering procedure is no longer available and the operating characteristics of the washing and drying machines required by that procedure are no longer representative of machines now used for home laundering.

In 1996, AATCC revised AATCC Test Method 124, “Appearance of Fabrics After Repeated Home Laundering.” The 1996 AATCC test method more closely resembles the equipment and practices used for household laundering of fabrics at this time. The revised test method differs from AATCC Test Method 124-67 by specifying the use of 1993 AATCC detergent, a nonphosphate-based detergent. The 1996 test method also specifies use of a washing machine with different operating characteristics than those specified by AATCC Test Method 124-67, and rinse water temperatures which differ from those in the older test method. Table 1, below, provides a summary comparison of the two test methods.

In 1996, AATCC also announced that when that organization's supply of Standard Detergent 124 is depleted, that detergent will no longer be available. AATCC is the only source for Standard Detergent 124. Additionally, washing machines offered for sale at this time do not have the settings and operating characteristics of the washing machine specified by AATCC Test Method 124-67.

The laundering procedures specified in the carpet flammability standards must be followed by the Commission when testing carpets manufactured with a fire-retardant treatment to determine their compliance. Information available to the Commission indicates that at this time, no carpets or rugs treated with a fire retardant or made from fibers which have been treated with a fire retardant are offered for sale. However, it is possible that carpets treated with fire retardants may be marketed in the future.