Industry leading supplier, FTT, launches new software for the NBS Smoke Density Chamber


Now compatible with 32 & 64 Bit versions of Windows 10, 8.1 & Windows 7.

The NBS Smoke Density Chamber (SDC), manufactured by FTT, is widely used in all industrial sectors for the determination of smoke generated by solid materials and assemblies mounted in the vertical or horizontal orientation, within a closed chamber.

It measures the specific optical density of smoke generated by materials when an essentially flat specimen is exposed to a radiant heat source with or without the use of a pilot flame.


The upgraded software is easy to use and offers enhanced graphical data presentation, allowing for the generation of quality reports.

FTT is pleased to announce the launch of a new software package called SDCSoft, which will further enhance the ease of operation and data management of the NBS Smoke Density Chamber.

SDCSoft is designed as a data acquisition and presentation package, allowing the choice of either manual or automatic control. This choice enables a more efficient use of the instrument, leading to larger daily throughput of testing and enhanced quality graphical data presentation.

SDCSoft is a Windows based package which collects test data and assists with all calibration routines. It can be used for several applications including standardised testing for the standards listed below:

  • BS 6401
  • ASTM E662
  • NFX 10-702
  • ABD0031
  • ISO 5659
  • NES 711

Data collection:
The start of an experiment is initiated by the activation of a footswitch or the push of a button on the computer screen. Information about the test and the sample is entered prior to the test run. This is stored to disk, together with the numerical data generated during the test. Data is collected and can be stored at 1s intervals. Real time data is displayed on a computer monitor, during the course of a test. The information is displayed in graphical and textual form.

The graphical form includes individual auto-scaling graphs with time on the x–axis and transmission (%), specific optical density and mass on the y-axis (the graphs displayed are dependent on the standard selected). The graphs have crosshairs which enable accurate reading of the values recorded during the test run.

Textual data includes:

  • Instantaneous transmission (%) and specific optical density (Ds)
  • Time from start of test
  • Maximum Ds and time to maximum Ds
  • Current range setting and filter position
  • Mass (ISO 5659)
  • Prompts (visual and audio) when the range setting or filter position requires changing when operating in manual mode. When operating under software control the range setting is automatically changed.

The experimental data stored during a test run includes:

  • Time (seconds), t
  • Transmission (%) at time t
  • Specific optical density at time t
  • Range and filter positions at time t
  • Mass (g) at time t (ISO 5659)

On completion of the test, the clear beam transmission is recorded to correct the data for deposits on the optical system. All data is written to a tab delimited ASCII text file which can be imported into programs like Microsoft’s Excel. A report including a graph and table of specific optical density (Ds) against time is produced. Reports can be printed or exported to file in pdf format. Print options provide the user with the ability to include or exclude certain parameters from the printed report, as required.

Multiple print report options:

  • Multiple reports can be produced, that include a summary of all reports, with the option of including the individual specimen reports.
  • Saving of multiple reports to file is provided, allowing quick retrieval for re-printing or adding additional subsequent reports.
  • Test files produced with legacy FTT SmokeBox software can be read and a report produced in SDCSoft.

Main features of the SDCSoft software:

Calibration of the photomultiplier amplifier
Full scale and zero transmission values are calibrated into the software. All recorded and displayed transmission values are corrected, in real time, by the software for calibration, whatever the amplifier range setting.

Automatic reminder for conducting leak test
Before performing any tests, the chamber leakage rate test needs to be performed. The results are stored for viewing at a later date and the software displays whether a leak test has been performed for the current day.

Range-extension filter calibration
The range-extension filter requires calibration every 6 months to determine its optical density so that the recorded transmission can be corrected when the filter is removed from the light path. The result can be printed or saved to file.

Furnace/Cone calibration
Before testing a sample, the radiant heat from the furnace needs to be set to the required level.

Status screen
This displays the signals from the instrument transducers and the status of certain components on the Smoke Density Chamber and can be useful when troubleshooting and for viewing settings without recording any data.

Automatic file naming
SDCSoft will save the data to a file name automatically generated from the date and test number. This is to prevent any valuable data being overwritten. Alternatively, a file name can be entered manually.

Help file button
A Help file button provides the user with access to information relevant to the current screen within the software.

Computer operating system
Compatible with 32 & 64 Bit versions of Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

For more information about this SDCSoft package or any upgrade offers available for your existing FTT Smoke Density Chamber, please contact FTT on +44 (0)1342 323600 or email


Fire Testing Technology

Unit 19, Charlwoods Road, East Grinstead,
West Sussex, RH19 2HL, UK

Tel.: +44.(0)1342.323600
Fax: +44.(0)1342.323608

Company Reg. No. 2387681
VAT Reg. No. 528.0253.63

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