Newport Scientific's (formerly


) Smoke Density Chamber is used for measuring smoke emission from

burning or smoldering



  • Meets requirements of

    FAR25-853,ASTM E662, ASTM F814, NFPA 258, BS640 1, ATS1000, FAA

    (Smoke test for cabin material)
  • Large door size for easy access to sample and for cleaning (23 3/8"H x 29 3/8"W)
  • Easy-to-read indicators and gauges
  • Control gauges attached to chamber for ease of operation
  • Temperature accuracy of ± 2 ° F
  • Gas Safety Shut Off Valve & Light Indicator
  • Burner Flamelets Ignitor
  • Pilot Burner Positioner
  • Updated Sample Holders
  • Removable stainless steel sample holder for

    melting and non-melting samples


4-5800115V-ASTM Superpressure NIST Smoke Density Chamber 50-60Hz, 115V
4-5800230V-ASTM Superpressure NIST Smoke Density Chamber 50-60Hz, 230V
4-5800115V-FAA Superpressure NIST Smoke Density Chamber 50-60Hz, 115V
4-5800230V-FAA Superpressure NIST Smoke Density Chamber 50-60Hz, 230V
Dimensions: 77" high, 46" wide, 38" deep (passes through 38" passageway)
Weight :net 450lbs. Shipping 525Lbs.

User will require compressed air (filtered and dried) and propane for the flaming operation for the ASTM testing model. An outlet is provided on the floor-mounted exhaust blower for connection to a flexible exhaust hose. Water (filtered at 10 psi/min at 2 GPH/min) will also be required for the FAA Testing Model.


4-5802 Smoke Chamber Interface Program (SCIP) -

Windows 95/98 based software

4-5803 Calorimeter NBS Rate of Rise Calorimeter for the calibration of the radiometer.
4-5806M Hardware Kit for Computer Interface - Computer Not Supplied.
68086031100 Recorder 10" wide strip chart; 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 my scale; chart speeds: 22 speeds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30 CM/MIN and CM/HR; power: 115/230VAC 5060Hz.



's NBS* (NIST)** Smoke Density Chamber is the first commercial instrument that measures smoke properties (


) by means of a

self-integrating vertical optical system

. Other instruments, designed to measure smoke in the horizontal mode, have obvious limitations since smoke builds up in stratified layers.

With the vertical optical system, a completely integrated determination of specific optical density is obtained as the layers of smoke accumulate and light transmittance is reduced. These results are precisely plotted in terms of specific density. The specific optical density value expresses the smoking properties of any quantity of material, contained within any volume or space, when viewed at any distance. The relationship under this method is expressed by the following formula:

Ds = V / AL log 100 / T

The specific optical density (Ds) is a dimensionless attenuation coefficient of a specimen of given thickness. It represents the optical density measured over unit path (L) within a chamber of unit volume (V) produced from a specimen of unit surface (A) . . . where (T) is the percent of light transmittance.

The above formula is derived from

Bouguer's law of extinction

as applied to the chamber's collimated light beam passing through the volume of smoke. This is also known as

Lambert's or Beer's law

. This geometrical factor was established with the original apparatus developed by D. Gross, J. J. Loftus and A. F. Robertson of the Fire Research Section, Building Research Division, Institute for Applied Technology, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D. C. in their laboratories.

This method of measuring smoke assumes the applicability of Bouguer's law to the attenuation of light by smoke, and smoke quantity is therefore reported in terms of optical density rather than light absorption or transmittance. Optical density is the single measurement most characteristic of a "quantity of smoke" with regard to visual obscuration.


's NBS Smoke Density Chamber is similar to the one described by Gross, Loftus and Robertson in their paper, "Methods for Measuring Smoke and Burning Materials" at the ASTM Symposium on Fire Test Methods, ASTM, SPC, 422, pp. 166-204, 1967. The chamber and its capabilities are also referred to in "Smoke and Gases Produced by Burning of Aircraft Interior Materials," NBS Building Science Series, BSS-18. Additional references and requirements for the smoke density chamber are listed on back page.

*National Bureau of Standards "National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)


In operation, a 3" x 3" specimen in a special holder with a fixed orientation and fixed area of exposure is exposed to a precisely adjusted and regulated radiant source for radiant non-flaming tests. For radiant-flaming exposure, the specimen is also subjected to multi-jet impingement by a special flaming jet with precise setting of both gas and air supply. As smoking occurs, the collimated light is attenuated and read-out to an optical density of 6 is obtained by means of the solid state photomultiplier photometer.

The spectral response of the system does not deviate excessively from the standard ICI luminosity curve representing the human eyes' sensitivity (i.e., not more than that corresponding to a type S4 response with a tungsten source at 2200°K.). The light source operating through a voltage-regulated power supply is maintained at 4 volts (±0.2) to provide reproducible light source characteristics.

By photometer sensitivity attenuation in conjunction with the movable neutral density filter, it is possible to obtain optical density determinations corresponding to a transmittance of only 0.0001 percent of the original incident light.


The Gross et. al. test procedure was established under specification E662 Fire Test Methods, American Society for Testing and Materials, after round-robin testing to prove the test procedure's statistical accuracy and reproducibility (NBS Tech Notes No. 708). The list of products or materials requiring smoke testing since the establishment of ASTM Specification E662 is increasing. This list includes items from office furniture to materials used in aerospace applications. Additional information pertaining to products or materials requiring smoke testing is listed under the section entitled descriptive literature.


The furnace for non-flaming radiant and flaming-radiant smoke production provides highly concentrated, uniform irradiance of 2.5 watts/cm2 over a 3" diameter opening, so that heat is concentrated on the sample with a minimal heating effect on the balance of the system.

The furnace temperature is adjusted by means of a calibrated

Gardon Radiometer

, supplied with the chamber, and a temperature controller maintain the furnace irradiance at 2.5 watts/cm2 (± 0.05 watts/cm2). A multidirectional 6-tiplet burner standardized in the ASTM round-robin tests is furnished. A unidirectional burner tip for special procedures is also available. The burner has been adjusted to provide reproducible flame conditions under specified flows of propane and air. Separate flow-meters each equipped with adjusting needle valves and shut-off valves are provided for the propane and air.



The photometer system includes a voltage regulated light source, a dual lens, collimated 36" light beam passing vertically through the test space, a neutral density filter to provide two decades of attenuation and range, a light source compensating filter to adjust for variations in photomultiplier luminous sensitivity, a heated lower chamber window to minimize corrections for condensation, and a multi-range solid?state photomultiplier photometer. The multiplicity of controls enables system adjustment through a wide range of variables. The increase of optical density which occurs with the generation of smoke is indicated on the photometer and may be recorded on a recorder or computer.

The photometer features four fixed steps of readout for transmittance (100%, 10%, 1 % and 0.1 %), automatic zero, and dark current and sensitivity adjusts. The movable neutral density-2 filter extends the range of sensitivity of the system to 0.01 to 0.001 % of transmittance. The photomultiplier housing permits installation of attenuator discs or slits or special filters. It is provided with a two blade shutter assembly which permits easy movement of the neutral density filter in or out of the light path, without disturbing text conditions.


The chamber is provided with a centrifugal fan for venting the products through an exterior exhaust system after completion of the test. In normal testing, the effluents are retained, providing cumulative data throughout the test period. The effluent may be sampled or withdrawn through the sealed tube fitting in the roof during the test or after the test is completed. Effluents are exhausted from the chamber by opening the front wall and floor dampers which automatically starts the blower providing rapid evacuation.


Stainless steel sample holders for both melting and non?melting samples are provided to accommodate sample thicknesses ranging from films to 1" panels. Sample holders are designed to expose exactly the same surface area in the same furnace orientation while protecting the edges and rear of the test sample from direct irradiance. A sample mover rod passing through the rear wall, and operated from the front, permits movement of the sample holder or Radiometer along two support rods to an exact position in front of the furnace without the need to open the chamber.


The furnace is adjusted at regular intervals to assure reproducible irradiance of the sample under both the non-flaming and flaming modes of exposure by means of the Radiometer, calibrated in accordance with National Bureau of Standards procedures and Standard Reference. A water cooled heat flux gauge is supplied for FAA testing.


Department of Transportation, Advance Notice,

Smoke Emission Testing of Materials

. Federal Register 34-144

Specifications Governing the

Flammability and Smoke Developed Ratings of Carpets.

Port of New York Authority, August 1971, and FIRE ADVISORY BOARD, NEW YORK CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT (for High Rise Buildings)

Interlaboratory Evaluation of Smoke Density Chamber. National Bureau of Standards TECHNICAL NOTE 708 (CONDENSED)

U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Operation Breakthrough,

Smoke Testing Criteria, C.4.3.1, D.4.3.1, E4.3.1, F.4.5.1, L.4.2.1.

ASTMINBS Round Robin Test Data Report on Smoke Density Chamber?National Bureau of Standards TECHNICAL NOTE 708A

The Smoke Density Chamber Method for Evaluating the Potential Smoke Generation of Building Materials. National Bureau of Standards TECHNICAL NOTE 757

Standard Test Method for Specific

Optical Density of Smoke Generated By Solid Materials

, ASTM Standard Specification E662 Available from: ASTM, 1916 Race Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

Smoke Generated By Solid Materials, NFPA STD 258, National Fire Protection Association, 470 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA 02210


  • Smoke chambers modified to conform to

    Airbus Industries specification ATS 1000.01

    are available.
  • Special flame burners conforming to

    British Navy specification NES 711

    are available.
  • Special sample holders for testing insulated wire are available.


Based on over 60 years of expertise in the

high pressure


Newport Scientific, formerly Aminco

, matches quality control and strict compliance with specified requirements. In addition to the equipment described in this literature, NSI manufactures other equipment and accessories including: a complete line of pumps and compressors,

supercritical fluid extraction systems

, valves, fittings, tubing, thermocouple assemblies, safety devices, pressure gauges and pressure control devices.

Newport Scientific

is also a manufacturer of

precision humidity measurement

and control instrumentation. Our Sales Department looks forward to working with you on your various applications.


Catalog Number Product Name Product Description Add To Cart
4-5800115V-ASTMSuperPressure NIST Smoke Density Chamber 50 - 60 Hz, 115V, ASTMMeets requirements of FAR25-853, ASTM E662, ASTM F814, NFPA 258, BS6401, ATS 1000, FAA (smoke test for cabin material)  Add To Cart
4-5800115V-FAASuperPressure FAA Smoke Density Chamber 50 - 60 Hz, 115V, FAAMeets requirements of FAR25-853, FAA (smoke test for cabin material)  Add To Cart
4-5800230V-ASTMSuperPressure NIST Smoke Density Chamber 50 - 60 Hz, 230V, ASTMMeets requirements of FAR25-853, ASTM E662, ASTM F814, NFPA 258, BS6401, ATS 1000, FAA (smoke test for cabin material)  Add To Cart
4-5800230V-FAASuperPressure FAA Smoke Density Chamber 50 - 60 Hz, 230V, FAAMeets requirements of FAR25-853, FAA (smoke test for cabin material)  Add To Cart
4-5803Calorimeter for SuperPressure NIST (NBS) Smoke Density ChamberUsed to Calibrate Radiometer  Add To Cart
4-5812Smoke Chamber Interface Program - Software/HardwareSoftware for data collection  Add To Cart