When working in industrial settings that are rife with flammable substances and liquids, the terms “flashpoint” and “fire point” may get thrown around—but what do they mean? In our helpful guide, we’ll explain what flashpoint and fire point mean and the key differences between them that everyone should know.
What Is a Substance’s Flashpoint?
The flashpoint of a substance relates to the liquid material’s ignition temperature. In layman’s terms, the flashpoint of a substance is the temperature at which it will ignite when exposed to an external ignition source, such as a flame or spark.
But this does not mean a substance will continue to burn once it reaches its flashpoint. Once the ignition source is removed, the liquid material will extinguish, and its temperature will lower.
What Is a Substance’s Fire Point?
A substance’s fire point is similar to its flashpoint, with some significant distinctions. A liquid material’s fire point is the temperature at which the product will ignite from an external ignition source and continue to burn indefinitely until the substance is extinguished or burns out.
Essentially, a substance reaches its fire point when it is introduced to a flame or spark, catches fire, and continues to burn even after the ignition source is removed from the conditions. The fire point temperature is always higher than a substance’s flashpoint temperature.
What’s the Key Difference Between Flashpoint and Fire Point?
As you may observe, the flashpoint and fire point of a substance are similar but with a few key differences. While a substance at its flashpoint temperature may ignite when exposed to an external ignition source, it won’t continue to burn after the source is removed unless it reaches its fire point temperature.
So, while you may hear the two terms used interchangeably, they’re quite different from one another. It’s integral to safety to know the difference between the two when dealing with hazardous and flammable liquids such as:
- Automotive gasoline
- Diesel fuel
- Motor oil
How Is a Substance’s Flashpoint and Fire Point Measured?
But how would you find out the flashpoint and fire point of a substance? Measuring the fire point and flashpoint properties of a liquid material is quite simple but should only be done with proper safety precautions, as it involves flames and flammable materials.
All one needs is a container, the flammable liquid, a temperature reader, and an external ignition source, typically an open flame. The substance in the container is slowly heated and exposed to the flame, raising the temperature until it reaches its flashpoint or fire point.
We hope you’ve learned something from our helpful guide on flammable substances and their properties! At FR Outlet, we want to educate and protect workers by providing knowledgeable experience and an extensive selection of flame-resistant (FR) clothes, including FR pants for men and women.
If you have further questions about FR clothing and how they relate to flammable substances, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at FR Outlet!