ASTM Establishes Camping Mattresses Standard

A new ASTM International standard will help campers select a mattress that will provide a warmer sleeping experience, said the organization. The new standard (F3340) was developed by ASTM’s committee on sports equipment, playing surfaces, and facilities (F08).

According to ASTM International member Dr. John Shen, Materials Analysis Engineer at MEC, the new standard will be used to measure the thermal insulation performance, or R-value, of camping mattresses, providing an indication of the ability of the mattress to keep the ground’s cold from reaching a camper. The higher the R-value, the better a mattress will resist the cold. An adequately selected R-value mattress would keep a sleeper warm and comfort through the night in a given environment with other sleeping gear.

Shen says that the new standard provides a uniform and reliable test method that manufacturers can use when developing and labeling their mattresses.

“In the past, a new design mattress construction could not be adequately differentiated from others, claimed R-values of existing mattresses may not always be comparable or reproducible due to improper test approaches and test conditions used,” says Shen. “The new standard resolved these problems.”

The new standard defines test conditions to accurately measure the R-value at the most relevant field-use conditions, including heat-down thermal transfer, fixed hot plate and cold plate temperatures representing the working surfaces, defined compressive and inflating pressures, and measurement locations, ASTM officials explained. Also, every consideration was given to what may be considered typical and readily available testing environments and a need for a cost-effective test apparatus, thus making it relatively easy to be implemented or accessed.

“The new standard will help manufacturers develop better products and to control consistent product quality,” said ASTM. “Regulators and testing laboratories will also find the new standard useful.”

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