Material Identification Laboratory

The Fire Protection Association offers material identification testing on samples of insulation at our laboratory in Gloucestershire to help identify the type of insulation material used on a building.

We supply specialist pre-paid postage boxes for you to send your sample in and our experienced technicians provide a comprehensive report outlining the test methodology and analysis within 4-6 weeks of receipt of the materials at our laboratory.

How do we test the samples?

We conduct 3 tests to identify whether the sample is PUR insulation, PIR insulation, phenolic compounds, or wools.

In order to carry out the insulation identification, we require a minimum sample size of 100mm by 100mm which we run through three machines:

The microcalorimeter determines the temperature at which the material combusts and the amount of heat released.

The elemental analyser shows the chemical composition of the material by measuring the percentage of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur within it.

The Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) measures the absorbance of infrared light by different molecules in the sample at varying wavelengths. This produces a spectrum (known as FTIR spectroscopy) which then undergoes FTIR analysis to determine the material’s molecular composition.  

Please note that we cannot provide a fire classification as a result of these tests and it is not possible to conduct further testing on the samples once the material analysis has taken place.

Why use the FPA for testing?

  • Testing is completed at our UK FPA laboratory
  • Experienced laboratory staff
  • Independent and impartial results
  • Excellent reporting turnaround times
  • Extensive facilities and technical capabilities

Competitive prices

As a not-for-profit organisation, we price our services competitively. Our material identification service includes 3 tests on each of our 3 machines and costs £1,500 plus VAT.

Download our material identification information form.

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