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Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI)

Minimum concentration of oxygen (in the air surrounding the sample) that will support flaming combustion. Only measured for polymeric and plant-based materials.

Oxygen concentration in ambient air is 21%, and materials with an oxygen index above 21% will exhibit some degree of self-extinguishing behaviour. Some sources recommend 27% as a safer threshold.

Oxygen index is a specific case of an oxidant index, which is the concentration of a given oxidant (oxygen, nitrous oxide, fluorine, etc.), expressed as percent volume within a dilutant (nitrogen, carbon dioxide, helium, etc.) that will support continuing burning. Each combination of parameters gets a separate value for oxidant index.

Material Properties Explained

Material Properties Explained is a handbook published by It is a concise encyclopedia of engineering material properties. It is not tied to the material properties database, and covers a far larger number of properties than those used on the website. Subject matter includes:

  • Differences in definition and testing between types of materials.
  • Common testing variations and their significance.
  • What additional information is required to correctly interpret a value.
  • Any equations to calculate or estimate property values.
  • Synonyms and related terms.
  • Relevant international testing standards, including both ASTM and ISO.

To purchase a digital (PDF) copy: Material Properties Explained.

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