Not be confused with values like autoignition temperature or fire point the Flash Point of a fuel is the lowest temperature at which the generated vapour will ignite when an external ignition source is applied under standardised conditions. It is defined to minimise fire risk during normal storage and handling.
In the Marine Industry the minimum Flash Point for fuel in the machinery space of a merchant ship is 60°C, which is governed by international legislation. Fuels used for emergency purposes - external to the machinery space - must have a flashpoint test of greater than 43°C.
The normal maximum storage temperature of a fuel is 10°C below the Flash Point, unless special arrangements are otherwise made. Even when residual fuels are at a temperature below their measured Flash Point they are capable of producing light hydrocarbons.
Flash Point testing of biodiesel is used to detect contamination from methanol resulting in a lower flash point than normal.
Product for Flash Point testing
Flash Point Tester - an easy to use instrument that can complete a flash/no-flash test in less than two minutes, or determine the flash point of a sample within a temperature range of ambient temparature to 300°C in typically eight minutes.