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ARC FLASH PROTECTION


WHICH ARC FLASH TESTING METHOD IS RIGHT FOR ME ?


The necessary ARC Rating of the clothing for employees is determined by a Hazard/Risk Assessment of your work areas and the resulting HRC. It is advisable to consult an expert in this area


be aligned with the hazard risk category (HRC) in your place of work. The Box Method evaluates the performance of a fabric (not a garment) when exposed to live current (not an Arc fault) at a fixed distance and provides a visual pass or fail.


WITH PROPER ARC


FLASH PROTECTION THERE REMAINS A 50% CHANCE THAT THE WEARER WILL SUFFER 2ND OR 3RD DEGREE BURNS


ProGARM Ltd


HAZARD RISK CATEGORY (HRC) REQUIRED MIN – ARC RATING FOR PPE


ARC 1 > = 4 calories/cm² ARC 2 > = 8 calories/cm² ARC 3 > = 25 calories/cm² ARC 4 > = 40 calories/cm²


TESTING METHODS


All ARC rated clothing is approved in Europe to EN61482-2. There are two testing methods described below;


1. EN61482-1-1 (THE OPEN ARC TEST)


First, in Method A, a fabric or layers of fabric are tested to evaluate the Arc rating as measured in ATPV (Arc Thermal Protection Value). Then, in Method B (using this fabric) a complete garment is exposed to an Arc flash at approximately the level of ARC rating of the fabric(s). Then, after inspection the entire garment will be given an ATPV rating as measured in calories per square centimeter or cal/cm².


A garment tested to this method will have the EN61482 label as well as the EN61482- 1-1 designation with an ATPV rating.


2. EN61482-1-2 – (THE BOX TEST)


This method of testing (The Box Method) is divided into Class 1 and Class 2. The test uses a sample or layers of fabric inside a plaster box. In the Class 1 test the fabric is exposed to an electrical current of 4000a, from 30cm for 500 milliseconds. In the Class 2 test, the fabric is exposed to an electric current of 7000a. Fabrics are then visually evaluated to have either a ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’. Fabrics that pass the test at 4000a are labelled EN61482 with the EN61482-1-2 Class 1 rating. Fabrics that pass the testing at 7000a are labelled EN61482 with the EN61482-1-2 Class 2 rating. No garments are tested using this method. No ARC ratings measured in cal/ cm² are provided using this method.


TEST METHOD DIFFERENCE


The Open ARC Method tests the fabric first, then the entire garment against an actual electrical fault. It provides a measurable value of protection that can


CONSIDERATION


Consideration should be given to which method best simulates your work environment before selecting the protective clothing with the appropriate Arc flash standards approval. Never underestimate the importance of wearing base layer clothing that offers inherent protection that meets current FR standards such as EN11612:2008 A1, B1, C1. With proper Arc Flash protection


there remains a 50% chance that the wearer will suffer 2nd or 3rd degree burns. If the wearer has normal everyday undergarments made of cotton, nylon, silk, wool etc, then these garments may ignite, burn and possibly melt into the skin at temperatures far below the temperatures of an Arc flash event and well below the tolerance of proper Arc Flash clothing.


Stephen Kaut Director - International Sales ICM Safety Equipment


SCAN/CLICK SCAN/CLICK SCAN/CLICK


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www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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