Heat and flame and electric arc

Range of garments for workers in the electricity sector generation, distribution, maintenance and a long etc. Designed to provide great comfort as well as protection.

If there is a source of energy that is more important every day in our lives, this is undoubtedly the electricity .

These days, we find ourselves immersed in a energy transition and large electrical and non-electrical companies (mainly oil companies) announce large investments and new strategic plans with an obsession for the massive development of renewable electrical energy sources.

From the point of view of personal protective equipment, we find ourselves with two risks well differentiated: the electrical contact and the risks generated by a Electric arc .

We are going to dedicate this article to talk about the second of the dangers and more specifically about garments or clothing with resistance to the effects of an electric arc.

It is called Electric arc to a unexpected power discharge due to an accidental connection between two elements at different electric potential.

Many phenomena occur when an electric arc occurs: First, a large release of energy is generated, such as the effect of a pump (reaching a pressure of more than 20 t / mtwo ), with the release of heat and / or flames, temperatures of up to 20,000 ° C can be reached during an electric arc. Incandescent particles are also released, as well as very intense peaking noise (acoustic levels above 120 decibels) and the generation of toxic gases as a consequence of the generation of a plasma.

Garments with protection against the risks generated in an electric arc provide a additional protection against the thermal effects of the same. Protective clothing is designed to resist ignition and to protect against thermal energy released by the bow. The objective of these garments is to reduce the severity of burns, giving the worker who has suffered an arc a more realistic chance of survival. They are known in the market as multi-risk garments and their use is being imposed in the market, due to the large number of risks that they combine, together with increasingly lighter materials.

Characteristics of the regulations for protective clothing against electric arc

The protective garments against the risks derived from an electric arc are personal protective equipment of category III According to Regulation 425 that regulates the commercialization of PPE, they are therefore designed against fatal or irreversible risks . This means that the garment manufacturer not only has to have certified the garments in a Notified Body (ON). Furthermore, a procedure must be available to guarantee that their production is carried out in an optimal way. This procedure is evaluated by an ON and its code must be the one that accompanies the CE marking. For example CE 0099, if it is AENOR who evaluates the system.

The standards currently in force are: EN IEC 61482-1-1: 2019 and EN 61482-1-2: 2014

The test described in the EN IEC 61482-1-1: 2019 standard is based on the performance of an open arc. It allows determining the ATPV (Arc Thermal Performance Value or Arc Thermal Protection Value), defined as the incident thermal energy to which the clothing must be exposed, so that there is a 50% probability that the wearer suffers burns second degree, without breakage of the garment.

Regarding the test contemplated in the EN 61482-1-2: 2014 standard, it follows the methodology proposed by the European standard that preceded it, UNE-ENV 50354 / 2001-, generating a constrained arch in a plaster box (Box Test ), with two copper and aluminum electrodes, subjected to a voltage of 400 V. It also classifies materials and garments into two classes APC1 and APC2, according to the value of the expected arc current (4kA or 7 kA).

Protective clothing against electric arc

At OROEL we have a wide range of garments for workers in the electrical sector generation, distribution, maintenance and a long etc.
All of them are designed to provide great comfort as well as protection.
In addition to protection against electric arc, these garments are designed to protect against other risks, such as low visibility, cold and rain, electrostatic protection, etc.
OROEL uses different fabrics for its manufacture depending on the use and maintenance that will be given to the garments. Consult our experts and we will make you a assessment of technical needs to help you standardize the solution.
Are manufacturers of workwear .