Flash Point

Definition - What does Flash Point mean?

Flash point is the lowest temperature at which vapors will ignite with an ignition source. Flash point is a characteristic of liquids used to describe their volatility. The lower the flash point the easier it is to ignite the vapor. The flash point of a liquid is experimentally determined by heating a liquid and introducing a flame above the surface. The temperature at which ignition occurs is known as the flash point. Flash point is a crucial parameter in determining how hazardous a material is. Materials with a lower flash point are considered more hazardous. Liquids with a flash point lower than 60.5 °C (140.9 °F) are labelled as flammable. Liquids with a higher flash point are considered combustible.

Trenchlesspedia explains Flash Point

There are two categories of experiments used to determine flash point: open cup and closed cup. The open cup test is performed by incrementally heating a liquid with a flame above the surface. However, the height of the flame above the surface will change the measured flash point. Closed cup experiments use a sealed lid with a hole that enables a flame to be introduced. Closed cup tests usually provide a lower flash point than that of open cup tests and are generally recognized to be a better measurement of the liquid’s flash point.

Flash point should not be confused with fire point or autoignition temperature. Fire point is the lowest temperature that will allow the vapor to keep burning and is usually higher than its flash point. Autoignition temperature is the temperature at which a liquid can be expected to spontaneously combust without an ignition source.

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