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Agreement on coffin testing closer

Coffin suppliers and the cremation sector have moved closer to agreement on a test regime for coffins after the Funeral Furnishings Manufacturers Association (FFMA) and cremation societies discussed exact pass and fail criteria.

The test protocol was agreed a few months ago, but some issues remained, particularly on what exactly should constitute a ‘pass’.

The majority of tests are not subjective, but some tests had needed further discussion to ensure an informed, fair and correct outcome.

After discussion, most points were agreed, and the further research pledged on the others. These focus mainly on autochargers, ash content and residue, and ignition and radiant heat.

The meeting agreed to organise extra tests to understand how coffins withstand the force exerted by an auto charger, and more research to define the limit of coffin ash and the ratio between ‘coffin’ ash and ‘organic’ ash. It also pledged more research to mimic the loading time and temperature as coffin in loaded into a cremation chamber to determine the risk of pre-ignition.

Further pre-tests on banana leaf, cardboard, chipboard, seagrass, water-hyacinth, willow and wool were also arranged, to see if any post-cremation residue could damage the cremator hearth

There was an acknowledgement that there could be an issue if coffins already in the supply chain failed the test so a sub-committee to handle each on a case-by-case basis was proposed.

Richard Barradell represented the Association of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria (APPC), Rick Powell the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities (FBCA) and Tim Morris the Institute of Cemeteries and Crematorium Management (ICCM), while, from the FFMA, were president David Crampton, Julian Atkinson and Will Hunneybel. Andrew Mallalieu from Facultatieve Technologies also attended.

Photo: Shutterstock

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