flash point

flash point, experimental determination:

Flash points are determined experimentally by heating the liquid in a container and then introducing a small flame just above the liquid surface. The temperature at which there is a flash/ignition is recorded as the flash point. Two general methods are called closed-cup and open-cup. The closed-cup method prevents vapors from escaping and therefore usually results in a flash point that is a few degrees lower than in an open cup. Because the two methods give different results, one must always list the testing method when listing the flash point; example: 110oC (closed cup). OSHA's 1910.106 standard discusses the methods in some detail.

Know the flash point of any material that you work with. Always avoid heat, open flame, sparks or other sources of ignition when a material is near, at or above its flash point. A common laboratory error is failure to pay attention to flash points when using a heating bath.

  UPDATED : 2005-09-28