46 CFR § 161.012-11 - Approval tests.

§ 161.012-11 Approval tests.

(a) The approval tests described in this section must be conducted for each light submitted for Coast Guard approval. The tests must be conducted by a laboratory that has the equipment, personnel, and procedures necessary to conduct the approval tests required by this subpart, and that is free of influence and control of the applicant and other manufacturers, suppliers, and vendors of PFD lights.

(b) A sample light must be activated at night under clear atmospheric conditions. However, two lights must be used if the power source is water activated, and one light must be activated in fresh water and the other in salt water having the approximate salinity of sea water. The light, or lights, must begin to shine within 2 minutes after activation and, within 5 minutes after activation, must be seen from a distance of at least one nautical mile against a dark background.

(c) At least ten sample lights must be selected at random from a group of at least 25. Each sample light must be kept at a constant temperature of 65° ±2 °C (149° ±4 °F) for 24 hours. Each sample light must then be kept at a constant temperature of minus 30° ±2 °C (minus 22° ±4 °F) for 24 hours. Five samples must then be submerged in salt water having the approximate salinity of sea water and the five other samples must be submerged in fresh water. The temperature of the water must be 15° ±5 °C (59° ±9 °F). The lights must then be activated and left submerged for eight hours. However, if their power sources need a supply of air to operate, the lights may be brought to their normal operating positions at the surface of the water for up to 10 seconds per minute during the eight hour period. At least nine of the ten lights must operate continuously over the eight hour period. If the lights are flashing lights, at least nine of ten must have a flash rate of between 50 and 70 flashes per minute when first activated or within five minutes thereafter.

(d) Individual tests must be conducted on a sample light to determine whether the light meets the requirements of § 161.012-7, except that technical data showing compliance with § 160.012-7(c) may be submitted with the application for approval in lieu of performing an individual test.