In the automotive industry, safety is the first and foremost requirement, also in terms of the manufacturing of labels. In addition to the attention paid to the materials used for the technical components, those working in the automotive industry must guarantee that every single element in the car is safe when in contact with flames, and the fabrics used to create the labels must also comply with these standards. Which standards apply? Let's discover them together.
FMVSS 302 is a flammability safety standard used to determine the burn resistance capabilities of materials. It applies to all materials used for the interiors of buildings, such as wall coverings, floors, laminates, foams and also fabrics. It is used in the automotive industry as a reference standard to ensure the flammability of interior materials used in the occupant compartments of motor vehicles, and applies to seat covers, seat belts and also fabric labels applied to the same.
Textile materials used to manufacture labels must be tested based on several different parameters, including:
The results of these tests classify the materials on a scale of from 0 to 3, where 0 is the safest. In the automotive industry the required safety rating is class 0.
FMVSS 302 is the international reference standard, but there are also other regulations that automotive component manufacturers must comply with.
In Europe, for instance, the ECE-EC R118 standard, also applies and establishes the technical prescriptions concerning the burning behaviour of materials used in the interior construction of certain categories of motor vehicles.
Manufacturers of components used in the interior construction of cars must ensure that every element supplied to the parent company complies with all applicable safety regulations. To do so, they must carefully select their suppliers and ensure that they can attach the appropriate documentation to the semi-finished products regarding compliance with safety regulations.
As far as labels are concerned, the fundamental variable is the material used.
A supplier of automotive label fabrics must guarantee the use of durable materials, that do not discolour after a short time, that do not fray and, above all, that do not ignite when in contact with initial sparks.