The Difference Between Flammable and Combustible Liquids

What is a flammable/combustible liquid? It’s quite simple: Flammable and combustible liquids are liquids that can burn. So, if they’re both able to burn why are they defined differently? We here at Safety Solutions and Supply are here to help you distinguish the differences.

Flammable
According to Subsection 3.3.33 and Chapter 4 of NFPA 30, a flammable liquid is defined as a liquid whose flash point does not exceed 100°F when tested by closed-cup test methods. The temperatures at which vapors of a volatile material will ignite when given an ignition source is below 37.8°C, meaning these liquids have a very low flash point.  Flammable liquids also burn at normal working temperatures. Gasoline, paper, and rubber are examples of these liquids.

Combustible
According to Subsection 3.3.33 and Chapter 4 of NFPA 30, a combustible liquid is defined as a liquid whose flash point is 100°F or higher when tested by closed-cup methods. The temperatures at which vapors of a volatile material will ignite when given an ignition source is above 37.8°C and below 93.3°C. This means these liquids have a very high flash point. Combustible liquids also burn at above working temperatures.

Paint, aluminum, and coal are examples of these liquids. The main difference between the two is that flammable liquids can catch fire and burn easily at normal working temperatures, whereas combustible liquids require higher than normal temperatures to ignite. We here at Safety Solutions and Supply  are proud to offer various training services to help your employees. There is safety in knowledge!

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Posted in Safety.