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Email:info@ccsa.uk

What the testing involves

In order to ensure coffins used for cremation are safe and ready to use, these tests have been carried out by a UKAS accredited and independent testing house in accordance with the Coffin and Casket Testing Protocol developed between 2013-2018.

The coffins have all been subjected to the following tests:

  • Strength

    The coffin is placed on trestles and loaded with weights for 24 hours, after which time any vertical movement or sag is measured. If the movement is within specified parameters the test is passed.

  • Ball Bearing Bed Functionality Test

    A loaded coffin is placed on a standard crematorium ball bearing bed for 12 hours. The coffin is then moved and checked for snagging or directional instability, which would be classed as a failure.

  • Roller Bed Functionality Test

    The same test as above but on a roller bed

  • Auto-Charger Arm

    Charging of a loaded coffin is simulated using a charging arm and a force applied similar to that used by crematoria. At the end of the test the coffin is inspected for any damage or deformation, which would be recorded as a failure.

  • Tabo Insertion Machine (optional)

    The coffin is placed on a rig built to mimic the TABO machine. If the coffin distorts around the supporting fingers so that it cannot be released this will be deemed a fail.

    Note: This test is optional as there are currently only 12 TABO machines in operation in the UK.

  • Ignition/Radiant Heat

    A small representative section of material is clamped at a specified distance from a heat source to simulate a coffin approaching the cremator during charging. The temperature is increased in stages and inspected continually. Any smouldering or combustion observed during the test would be classed as a fail.

  • Ash Residue Quantity

    This test involves heating a representative sample of the coffin material on a ceramic surface at a temperature representative of cremator conditions. If the resulting ash is above specified limits the test would be classed a fail.

  • Handle (Optional)

    A fully loaded coffin with straps passed through the handles is hoisted to 1 metre. Any damage or breakage is deemed to be a fail.

  • Ash Residue Content

    This test involves heating a representative sample of the coffin material on a ceramic surface at a temperature representative of cremator conditions. The resulting ash must be free of any glassy or unwanted residues which if present would be recorded as a failure.

  • Coffin Lining Test

    A sample of the coffin lining material is shaped into a cone and a solution representing body fluids is poured onto the surface. Any observable leakage is recorded as a failure.

Further tests are being developed.