ArcWear™

Electric Arc Rated ASTM F1891 & NFPA 70E

NASCO’s ArcWear line of rainwear is designed to provide utility workers with protection from foul weather as well as an electric arc flash. Linemen are faced with the daunting task of restoring power during storms and they need to have a product that will keep them dry, visible and safe. ArcWear products are designed by linemen, for linemen to help them get the lights back on.

Left: When exposed to an electric arc, suit ignites, melts, drips and fails to meet F1891.

Right: NASCO suit does not ignite, melt or drip and exceeds ASTM F1891 requirements.

ArcWear™ Products

Understanding Flash Fire Rainwear

For workers needing flame resistant (FR) rainwear, there is often uncertainty about the proper type of rainwear to select for their application. There are specific types of flame resistant rainwear which are designed for specific flame hazards.

Since not all FR rainwear is necessarily the same, it is important to clarify what the “FR” claim in rainwear means. There is a lot of confusion around what is being sold in the market place – some FR claims even can be decieving. To clarify and determine what your needs are, the first step is to determine the type of flame hazard you are trying to protect against.

To help clarify the standards for FR rainwear, it is pretty simple; there are only two.

Electric Arc Protective Rainwear
ASTM F1891: Standard and Specification for Arc and Flame Resistant Rainwear

Flash Fire Protective Rainwear
ASTM F2733: Standard Specification for Flame Resistant Rainwear for Protection Against Flame Hazards.

FR rainwear meeting one or both of these standards will be identified on the product label. These are the only FR standards that have been developed specifically for rainwear. Therefore, it is important to select the rainwear which has been appropriately tested to the standard which best meets your hazard.

Purchase a copy of the standards from ASTM: ASTM F1891ASTM F2733 and ANSI 107

Download your free copy of Understanding Flash Fire RainWear [PDF]

ArcWear™ Standards

This specification establishes applicable test methods, minimum physical and thermal performance criteria, a suggested sizing guide, and suggested purchasing information for rainwear for use by workers who may be exposed to thermal hazards of momentary electric arcs and open flames. It does not however apply to electrical contact hazards or electric shock hazards involved with electric arcs nor to flash fire hazards such as industrial hydrocarbon flash fires or other petrochemical flash fire hazards. The rainwear shall be manufactured of materials and constructed using seams that meet the requirements for leak resistance and shall meet the physical requirements of this specification initially as manufactured and after five cleanings. The specimen shall be subjected to tests to determine conformance to the following requirements: flame resistance, tear strength resistance, waterproofness, electric arc resistance, material average weight, arc rating, arc thermal performance value, breakopen threshold energy, heat attenuation factor, and melting and dripping. The material response characteristics for rainwear material, including afterflame time, breakopen, charring, dripping, electric arc ignition, embrittlement, melting, and shrinkage, shall be reported for two typical exposures at least equal to the arc rating and also for two typical exposures at least two times the arc rating.

Scope from ASTM

1.1 This specification establishes applicable test methods, minimum physical and thermal performance criteria, a suggested sizing guide, and suggested purchasing information for rainwear for use by workers who may be exposed to thermal hazards of momentary electric arcs and open flames.

1.1.1 This specification does not apply to the electrical contact hazards or electric shock hazards involved with electric arcs.
1.1.2 This specification does not apply to flash fire hazards such as industrial hydrocarbon flash fires or other petrochemical flash fire hazards.

1.2 The objective of this specification is to prescribe fit, function and performance criteria for rainwear that meets a minimum level of thermal and physical performance when exposed to a laboratory–simulated electric arc or flame exposure.

1.3 This specification is not intended to serve as a detailed manufacturing or purchasing specification, but can be referenced in purchase contracts to ensure that minimum performance requirements are met.

1.4 Controlled laboratory tests used to determine compliance with the performance requirements of this specification shall not be deemed as establishing performance levels for all situations to which wearers of this protective clothing may be exposed.

This specification covers the minimum performance criteria for flame resistance and other requirements for rainwear used by workers with the potential to be simultaneously exposed to wet weather conditions and either hydrocarbon or petrochemical industrial fires.

The purchaser has the option to perform or have performed any of the tests required by this specification in order to verify the performance of the rainwear.

This specification for rainwear shall not be construed as a requirement for the use of any particular rainwear material.

Scope
1.1 This specification establishes applicable test methods, minimum physical and thermal performance criteria, a suggested sizing guide, and suggested purchasing information for rainwear for use by workers who are potentially exposed to industrial hydrocarbon fires or other petrochemical fire hazards.

1.1.1 This specification does not apply to rainwear used for thermal electric arc flash hazards. Specification of rainwear for these electric arc flash hazards are addressed in Specification F 1891.

1.2 The objective of this specification is to prescribe function and performance criteria for rainwear that meets a minimum level of thermal and physical performance when exposed to a laboratory-simulated fire exposure.

1.3 This specification is not intended to serve as a detailed manufacturing or purchasing specification, but can be referenced in purchase contracts to ensure that minimum performance requirements are met.

1.4 Controlled laboratory tests used to determine compliance with the performance requirements of this specification shall not be deemed as establishing performance levels for all situations to which wearers of this protective clothing are potentially exposed.

1.5 This specification does not attempt to establish in-service care and use of this flame-resistant rainwear.

1.6 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in brackets are mathematical conversions to inch-pound or other units that are commonly used for thermal testing.

1.7 The following safety hazards caveat pertains to Sections 7 and 9 of this specification. This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

This standard specifies performance requirements for high-visibility safety apparel and accessory PPE. For the purpose of this standard, the term “high-visibility safety apparel (HVSA)” shall be used to mean apparel and accessory PPE intended to provide conspicuity to the user in hazardous situations under any light conditions by day and under illumination by vehicle headlights in the dark or other low light conditions.

Performance requirements are included for color, retroreflection, and minimum areas of retroreflective and combined-performance materials, as well as the recommended configuration of the materials. Performance requirements are also provided for the color, physical properties, and minimum areas of background materials used in the construction of HVSA and accessories. Test methods are provided in the standard to ensure that a minimum level of visibility is maintained when garments are subjected to ongoing care procedures. These specifications may prescribe a wide variety of occupational HVSA, but shall not be applied to firefighter turnout gear.

 

NASCO ArcWear™ Safety Standards

Chemical Penetration Rated Electric Arc Rated Flash Fire Rated HiVisibility Rated Comfort Rated Cold Weather Rated