ARC FLASH PROTECTION
IEC 61482-2 Arc Flash Standard
ProGARM produces safety garments that protect workers against the Thermals Hazards of an Electric Arc. Each arc flash protective garment is carefully designed by ProGarm to offer the maximum protection to the new arc flash standard IEC 61482 whilst ensuring comfort and outstanding durability.
As Arc Flash clothing items come under the requirements of Category 3 Protective Clothing, these garments are manufactured under Article 11B Quality Control Procedures.
WHAT IS AN ELECTRIC ARC?
Electric Arc and the arc flash created is the light and heat produced as part of an arc fault; a type of electrical explosion or discharge that results from a low impedance connection through air to ground or another voltage phase in an electrical system.
The intense heat can create temperatures as high as 19,000°C and it also produces electric shock, force and large quantities of thermal radiant energy.
WHAT IS THE RISK?
In any situation where your employees are working with electricity, an Arc Flash can occur and as such the maximum energy of default circuits in any electrical installation must be able to be determined. The risks of an electric arc exposure are:
Electrocution – potentially fatal
Extremely high levels of Radiant Heat
1st, 2nd or 3rd Degree burns – 3rd Degree burns cause permanent damage
IEC 61482-2:2018 PERFORMANCE & DESIGN REQUIREMENTS
Performance requirements for materials and design requirements for garments, plus Marking and User Information.
This part of IEC 61482 is applicable to protective clothing used in work if there is an electric Arc hazard. This standard specifies requirements and test methods applicable to materials and garments for protective clothing worn by electrical workers to protect them against the thermal hazards of electric Arc based on relevant general properties of the textiles, tested with selected textile test methods, and one of the Test Methods as defined below.
IEC 61482-1-1:2019 ‘OPEN ARC’ TEST METHOD
‘Open Arc’ test method (ATPV test and garment test). This replaces IEC 61482-1:2002. The ‘Open Arc’ test method is the same as the original North American method for measuring the Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV), as used in ASTM F1959. Materials or assemblies are given an ATPV/EBT/ELIM value, expressed in kilojoules per square metre (kJ/m2), which can be converted into the familiar cal/cm2.
IEC 61482-1-2:2007 ‘BOX ARC’ TEST METHOD
‘Box Arc’ test method (Fabric classification and garment test). The ‘Box Arc’ test method is based on the original European method described in ENV 50354, with a heat transfer measurement. Materials or assemblies are classified as Arc Protection Class (APC) 1 (4 kA) or APC 2 (7kA).
During this test, a fabric sample is exposed to an electric Arc produced by a 4kA or 7kA short circuit. In the test, the Arc does not last any longer than 500ms. The amount of heat transmitted through the sample is measured during and after the test. On the basis of the resulting data and a Stoll curve, the length of time it would take to cause the onset of second-degree burns is subsequently determined. Samples are also assessed for after-flaming, hole formation, melting, etc.
GARMENT TESTING & FABRIC TESTING
It is important to note that not only the fabric should be tested for conformance to the Arc Flash Standard, but also the complete garment or garment assembly itself.
The garment test is not testing for energetic value but is testing to ensure that the garment structure remains intact after the Arc exposure and that components such as zippers and buttons are still functional and do not contribute further injury to the wearer by melting or heat transfer.
ProGARM | Functional Arc Flash Clothing, Protection & PPE For Everyday Wear
As a result of this ProGARM have written a short guide to the new IEC 61482-2:2018 standard to highlight the key bits of information you need to be aware of when reviewing your PPE specification and the key terminology that you need to understand.
Choosing the right PPE for your team can be difficult and with all the standards to consider it can feel quite overwhelming. This guide aims to help people make a more informed decision about what PPE is best for you.
Thorne & Derrick can help – should you require arc flash calculators or advice on the type of clothing and protection available please do not hesitate to contact us.
By Thorne & Derrick International