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Interlaboratory Study of an Alternate Substrate for Use in ASTM E 2187



Richard G. Gann, Morgan Bruns, Edward J. Hnetkovsky, William F. Guthrie


ASTM E 2187 has become the internationally referenced standard for designing and specifying less fire-prone cigarettes. In this test method, a lit cigarette is laid on multiple layers of filter paper, and the observer identifies whether the cigarette burns its full length or not. Historically, a specific brand of filter paper has been used as the test substrate, with specified ranges of mass and moisture uptake necessary to achieve reasonable repeatability and reproducibility of the test results. This approach became less viable when the manufacture of the paper was moved to a different plant, and when an expanded demand for the paper resulted in long delays in delivery. This Technical Note describes an interlaboratory study (ILS) of an alternate substrate composed of a thin sheet of 302 stainless steel and a single sheet of filter paper. Seven laboratories examined the effect of filter paper from four manufacturers and steel from three manufacturers on the test results for four cigarette designs. The findings of the ILS were (1) that the ignition propensity results obtained using the steel/paper substrates were not statistically distinguishable from the result obtained for testing on 10 layers of the original filter paper, (2) there were no statistically significant effects of the substrate materials on the test results, for those combinations of cigarette, paper, and steel, and (3) the filter paper manufactured in the new plant gives test results that are more than a factor of two lower than the results from the original plant.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1874
Report Number


ASTM E 2187, cigarette, fire, fire safety, less fire-prone cigarettes, substrate


Gann, R. , Bruns, M. , Hnetkovsky, E. and Guthrie, W. (2016), Interlaboratory Study of an Alternate Substrate for Use in ASTM E 2187, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 30, 2024)


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Created August 11, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018