46 CFR 160.021-4 - Approval and production tests.

§ 160.021-4 Approval and production tests.

(a)Approval tests. The manufacturer must produce a lot of at least 100 signals from which samples must be taken for testing for approval under § 160.021-7. The approval tests are the operational tests and technical tests in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section. The approval tests must be conducted by an independent laboratory accepted by the Commandant under § 159.010 of this Chapter.

(b)Production inspections and tests. Production inspections and tests of each lot of signals produced must be conducted under the procedures in § 159.007 of this chapter. Signals from a rejected lot must not be represented as meeting this subpart or as being approved by the Coast Guard. If the manufacturer identifies the cause of the rejection of a lot of signals, the signals in the lot may be reworked by the manufacturer to correct the problem. Samples from the rejected lot must be retested in order to be accepted. Records shall be kept of the reasons for rejection, the reworking performed on the rejected lot, and the results of the second test.

(1)Lot size. For the purposes of sampling the production of signals, a lot must consist of not more than 30,000 signals. Lots must be numbered serially by the manufacturer. A new lot must be started with: (i) Any change in construction details, (ii) any change in sources of raw materials, or (iii) the start of production on a new production line or on a previously discontinued production line.

(2)Inspections and tests by the manufacturer. The manufacturer's quality control procedures must include inspection of materials entering into construction of the signals and inspection of the finished signals, to determine that signals are being produced in accordance with the approved plans. Samples from each lot must be tested in accordance with the operational tests in paragraph (c) of this section.

(3)Inspections and tests by an independent laboratory. An independent laboratory accepted by the Commandant under § 159.010 of this Chapter must perform or supervise the inspections and tests under paragraph (b)(2) of this section at least 4 times a year, unless the number of lots produced in year is less than four. The inspections and tests must occur at least once during each quarterly period, unless no lots are produced during that period. If less than four lots are produced, the laboratory must perform or supervise the inspection and testing of each lot. In addition, the laboratory must perform or supervise the technical tests in paragraph (d) of this section at least once for every ten lots of signals produced, except that the number of technical tests must be at least one but not more than four per year. If a lot of signals tested by the independent laboratory is rejected, the laboratory must perform or supervise the inspections and tests of the reworked lot and the next lot of signals produced. The tests of each reworked lot and the next lot produced must not be counted for the purpose of meeting the requirement for the annual number of inspections and tests performed or supervised by the independent laboratory.

(c)Operational tests. Each lot of signals must be sampled and tested as follows:

(1)Sampling procedure and accept/reject criteria. A sample of signals must be selected at random from the lot. The size of the sample must be the individual sample size in Table 160.021-4(c)(1) corresponding to the lot size. Each signal in the sample is tested as prescribed in the test procedure in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. Each signal that has a defect listed in the table of defects (Table 160.021-4(c)(2)) is assigned a score (failure percent) in accordance with that table. In the case of multiple defects, only the score having the highest numerical value is assigned to that signal. If the sum of all the failure percents (cumulative failure percent) for the number of units in the sample is less than or equal to the accept criterion, the lot is accepted. If the cumulative failure percent falls between the accept and reject criteria, another sample is selected from the production lot and the operational tests are repeated. The cumulative failure percent of each sample tested is added to that of the previous samples to obtain the cumulative failure percent for all the signals tested (cumulative sample size). Additional samples are tested and the tests repeated until either the accept or reject criterion for the cumulative sample size is met. If any signal in the sample explodes when fired or ignited in a way that could burn or otherwise injure the person firing it, the lot is rejected without further testing. (This procedure is diagrammed in figure 160.021-4(c)).

(2)Test procedure. Each sample signal (specimen) must be tested as follows:

(i)Conditioning of test specimens - water resistance. Immerse specimen horizontally with uppermost portion of the signal approximately 25 mm (1 in.) below the surface of the water for a period of 24 hours. If the signal is protected by alternate waterproofing consisting of a water-resistant coating on the signal plus packaging in a sealed plastic waterproof bag, the 24-hour water immersion conditioning will be conducted while the signal is in the sealed plastic waterproof bag and will be followed by an additional immersion of the bare signal (i.e., after removal from the bag) 25 mm (1 in.) below the surface of the water for a period of 10 minutes.

(ii)Waterproofing of igniter button. Remove the cap from the test specimen. Place head of specimen without cap about 25 mm (1 in .) under the surface of water for approximately 5 minutes. Remove specimen from the water and wipe dry.

(iii)Ignition and burning characteristics. Test specimens shall ignite and burn satisfactorily with uniform intensity when the directions on the signal are followed. Test specimens shall not ignite explosively in a manner that might be dangerous to the user or persons close by. The plug separating the flare composition from the handle shall in no case allow flame or hot gases to pass through it or between it and the casing in such manner as might burn the hand while holding the signal by the handle.

(iv)Burning time. The burning time of a specimen shall be obtained by stop watch measurements from the time a distinct sustained flame is emitted until it ceases. Test specimens shall burn in air not less than 2 minutes.

Table 160.021-4(c)(1) - Accept and reject criteria for operational test lots.

Lot size Individual sample size Sample Cumulative sample size Accept 1 Reject 1
280 or 8 First 8 ( 2) 400
less. Second 16 100 500
Third 24 200 600
Fourth 32 300 700
Fifth 40 500 800
Sixth 48 700 900
Seventh 56 950 951
281 to 13 First 13 0 400
500. Second 26 100 600
Third 39 300 800
Fourth 52 500 1,000
Fifth 65 700 1,100
Sixth 78 1,000 1,200
Seventh 91 1,350 1,351
501 to 20 First 20 0 500
1,200. Second 40 300 800
Third 60 600 1,000
Fourth 80 800 1,300
Fifth 100 1,100 1,500
Sixth 120 1,400 1,700
Seventh 140 1,850 1,851
1,201 to 32 First 32 100 700
3,200. Second 64 400 1,000
Third 96 800 1,300
Fourth 128 1,200 1,700
Fifth 160 1,700 2,000
Sixth 192 2,100 2,300
Seventh 224 2,550 2,551
More 50 First 50 200 900
than Second 100 700 1,400
3,201. Third 150 1,300 1,900
Fourth 200 1,900 2,500
Fifth 250 2,500 2,900
Sixth 300 3,100 3,300
Seventh 350 3,750 3,751

1 Cumulative failure percent.

2 Lot may not be accepted. Next sample must be tested.

Table 160.021-4(c)(2)

Kind of defects Percentage of failure
a. Failure to ignite 100
b. Ignites or burns dangerously 50
c. Nonuniform burning intensity 50
d. Chimneys so as to materially obscure the flame 25
e. Fire flashes down between casing and handle so as to endanger burning the hand 50
f. Burning time less than 70 pct of specified time 100
g. Burning time at least 70 pct but less than 80 pct of specified time 75
h. Burning time at least 80 pct but less than 90 pct of specified time 50
i. Burning time at least 90 pct but less than 100 pct of specified time 25

(d)Technical tests. Three signals must be subjected to each of the following tests. Two of the three signals must pass each test in order for the lot of signals to be accepted.

(1)Underwater burning. Condition each sample in accordance with paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section. Ignite specimen and let it burn about 5 seconds in air. Submerge the burning signal in water in a vertical position with head down. Obtain under water burning time by stop watch measurement from time of submersion until distinct, sustained flame emission ceases. The test specimen shall burn under water not less than 5 seconds when subjected to this test.

(2)Bending strength. Place the specimen on supports 15 cm (6 in.) apart. Attach a weight of 35 kg (77 lb.) to a length of wire. Hang the weight from the supported signal by looping the wire around the signal approximately equidistant from the two points of support. Let the weight hang approximately 5 minutes. The test specimen shall not deflect more than 7 mm (1/4 in.), nor shall the joint between the casing and the handle fail, when subjected to this test.

(3)Tensile strength. Place the specimen in a chuck firmly holding it about 13 mm (1/2 in.) below the cap. Attach a weight of 35 kg (77 lb.) to a length of wire. Hang the weight from the supported signal by looping the wire through a hole bored perpendicular to and through the axis of the handle. Let the weight hang approximately 5 minutes. The test specimen shall not show noticeable distortion, nor shall the joint between the casing and handle fail, when subjected to this test.

(4)Luminous intensity. The luminous intensity of each specimen tested shall be measured by a visual photometer or equivalent photometric device, while the specimen is supported in a horizontal position and the photometer is at right angles to the axis of the specimen. Visual luminous intensity readings shall be observed and recorded at approximately 20 second intervals during the burning of the specimen. The minimum photometric distance shall be 3 m (10 ft.). Recording photometers shall have a chart speed of at least 25 mm (1 in.) per minute. The luminous intensity of specimen shall be computed as the arithmetical average of the readings recorded. The average luminous intensity of a test specimen shall be not less than 500 candela. The burning time of a specimen shall be obtained by stop watch measurements from the time distinct, sustained flame is emitted until it ceases. Test specimens shall burn in air not less than 2 minutes.

(5)Elevated temperature, humidity and storage. Place specimen in a thermostatically controlled even-temperature oven held at 75 °C. with not less than 90 percent relative humidity for 72 hours. Remove specimen and store at room temperature (20° to 25 °C.) with approximately 65 percent relative humidity for 10 days. If for any reason it is not possible to operate the oven continuously for the 72-hour period, it may be operated at the required temperature and humidity for 8 hours out of each 24 during the 72-hour conditioning period. (Total of 24 hours on and 48 hours off.) The signal shall not ignite or decompose during this conditioning. The signal shall ignite and operate satisfactorily following this conditioning.

(6)Spontaneous ignition. Place the specimen in a thermostatically controlled even-temperature oven held at 75 °C. with not more than 10% relative humidity for 48 consecutive hours. The signals shall not ignite or undergo marked decomposition.

(7)Chromaticity. The color of the burning signal must be vivid red as defined by sections 13 and 14 of the “Color Names Dictionary.” Two identical test plates of white cardboard about 30 cm × 60 cm (12″ × 24″) are used. Except for a negligible amount of stray daylight, the first test plate is illuminated by light from the specimen placed at a distance of about 1.5 m (5 ft.). The second test plate is illuminated only by light from an incandescent lamp operated at a color temperature close to 2,848 °K at a distance of about 30 cm (1 ft.). The first plate is viewed directly, the second through combinations of Lovibond red, yellow, and blue glasses selected so as to approximate a chromaticity match. By separating the test plates by a wide unilluminated area (subtending at the observer about 45°), it is possible to make accurate determinations of chromaticity in terms of the 1931 CIE Standard Observer and Coordinate System, in spite of fluctuations in luminous intensity of the specimen by factors as high as 2 or 3. The CIE coordinates are converted to the Munsell notation which is cross-referenced to the color name in Section 13 of the “Color Names Dictionary” (see the discussion in section 10 of “The Universal Color Language”).

(8)Heptane ignition.

(i) A metal pan must be used to hold a layer of water at least 12mm ( 1/2 in.) deep with a layer of technical grade heptane on top of the water. The pan must be at least 1 m (39 in.) square with sides extending between 175 mm (7 in.) and 200 mm (8 in.) above the surface of the water. The amount of heptane used to form the layer must be 2.0 liters per square meter of pan area (6.25 fluid ounces per square foot).

(ii) The test must be conducted in a draft-free location. The ambient temperature, the temperature of the water, and the temperature of the heptane must all be between 20 °C (68 °F) and 25 °C (77 °F) at the time of the test.

(iii) The signal under test must be held with the flame end pointing upward at an angle of approximately 45°, 1.2 m (4 ft.) directly above the center of the pan. The signal must be ignited as soon as the heptane is observed to spread out over the water in continuous layer. The signal must be allowed to burn completely, and must remain in position until it has cooled.

(iv) The heptane must not be ignited by the flare or by material from the flare.

Caution: Heptane ignites rapidly and burns vigorously. The flare should be remotely ignited and all personnel should stay clear of the test pan while the flare is burning and while any part of it remains hot.

[CGD 76-048a, CGD 76-048b, 44 FR 73060, Dec. 17, 1979, as amended by CGD 80-021, 45 FR 45280, July 3, 1980; USCG-2014-0688, 79 FR 58285, Sept. 29, 2014]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.

United States Code
Presidential Documents

Executive Order ... 12234

Title 46 published on 09-May-2017 04:27

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 46 CFR Part 160 after this date.

  • 2016-07-22; vol. 81 # 141 - Friday, July 22, 2016
    1. 81 FR 48220 - Harmonization of Standards for Fire Protection, Detection, and Extinguishing Equipment
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective August 22, 2016. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register on August 22, 2016.
      33 CFR Parts 140, 145, 148, and 149