Literally in a flash, electric arc can cause everyday non-flame resistant work clothes to ignite and continue to burn even after the source of ignition has been removed. The very short duration and high energy of an electric arc flash presents a unique and dangerous hazard that requires specialized protection for the operator working in these environments.
Industrial, utility, and various electrical and petrochem workers, operate every day in a work environment that exposes them to the potential hazards that could cause severe or fatal burn injuries.
What happens in an arc flash? Arc flash effects can be characterized by a two step process. First a radiant burst of energy traveling at the speed of light impacts the subject at temperatures as high as 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. In the second step an extremely strong shock wave, created by the arc blast and traveling at the speed of sound impacts the subject. This process of the hazard points to three important requirements for the arc flash protective clothing to meet or exceed in its performance.
Why not just standard off the shelf rainwear? That’s a very common question. The common every-day work garments and rainwear that are made of basic non-flame resistant materials can be easily ignited during an arc flash exposure. The material will also continue to burn and will add more to the extent of resulting injury to the worker than from just the arc alone. The focus on protecting workers against arc exposures has necessitated the development and implementation of specialized garments that meet the requirements of quantitative testing procedures. NeeseArc Protective Rainwear is made of special protective materials that are tested and made for withstanding varying levels the arc flashes, hazardous flame and heat exposure.
- Clothing must not ignite and continue to burn.
- Clothing must provide a good insulative value to the wearer in order to dissipate the heat transfer through the clothing to the skin.
- Clothing must provide strong resistance to the break open forces generated by the shock wave of the arc flash.