What is glow wire testing?

Glow wire testing is an electrical safety test designed to evaluate the flame resistant properties of plastic materials used in electrical devices. Its purpose is to protect against the risk of fire from overheated or electrically energised parts which may cause the plastic material to ignite. This may occur in normal use, under reasonable abnormal use, malfunction or failure of the product. The glow wire simulates an over-heated part which then comes into contact with plastic materials.

The Standard

The glow wire test is covered by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard IEC 60695-2 Fire Hazard Testing, with four parts covering four different aspects of the glow-wire test. These are:

  • IEC 60695-2-10: Glow-wire apparatus and common test procedure
  • IEC 60695-2-11: Glow-wire flammability test method for end products (GWEPT)
  • IEC 60695-2-12: Glow-wire flammability index (GWFI) test method for materials
  • IEC 60695-2-13: Glow-wire ignition temperature (GWIT) test method for materials

The British and European equivalent of the glow wire standard is BS EN 60695-2