IMO A.652 Flammability

The IMO A.652 certification is the International Maritime Organization’s criteria for the flame resistance of upholstered composites for seating, and it is suitable for testing products on ships sailing in International Waters. It was created for the specific purpose of testing the ignitability of seating materials, such as the fabric and filling of upholstered furniture, when they come in contact with a smoldering cigarette or a lighted match. It does not cover flammability of the product when deliberately ignited.

The scope of testing involves setting up the test specimen to simulate a finished upholstered product, with the join between the seat and the back or arm, in which two ignition sources—a smoldering cigarette and a flaming source similar to the heat output of a burning match—can be tested. After the specimens are extinguished, they are examined and deemed suitable if observed with any of the following characteristics:

  • There are no signs of a smoldering fire or flames during and up to one hour after it has maintained contact with a smoldering cigarette
  • There are no signs of a smoldering fire or flames more than 120 seconds after the ignition flame has been removed


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