Fire Retardant Clothing

INFORMATION NOTICE

EN ISO 11612

EN ISO 11612: 2015
Protective clothing against heat and flames

This standard applies to clothing intended for use in working situations that require limited flame spread, and protection against hazards such as heat (radiant, convective, or by contact) and molten metal splash. The testing takes place under standard conditions to determine the perfornance of a given fabric or garment in case of contact with heat or flames. Seams, zips and embroidery must be tested as well as the main fabric. Tests must be carried out on pre-treated components, as per the manufacturer’s instructions on the label. Specific tests are listed as follows: (A1 + A2) dimensional variation of flame spreading * (B) – 3 levels – convective heat (C) – 4 levels – radiant heat (D) – 3 levels – molten aluminum splash (E) – 3 levels – molten iron splash (F) – 3 levels – contact heat (250 °C) – heat resistance at 180 °C. Tensile strength (minimum 300N) Tear resistance (at least 10N) Burst strength requires protection for neck, wrists and ankles. Optional tests include resistance to water vapor, and the manikin test performed to predict the overall skin burn level. *This test must be performed on the fabric and seams.

ISO 13506: 2008
ISO 13506

This testing method provides general principles to assess performance of garments or outfits intended for protection against fire or other short-length exposures. EN ISO 11612 allows an optional test to determine possible skin burn by using thermosensitive instruments on a life-sized manikin, following the ISO 13506 procedure. The test simulates a realistic fire situation by measuring the reactions on the manikin’s surface throught thermal sensors, in order to predict the potential skinburn damage. The effects of exposure to flames depend not only on the protective quality of the fabric, but also on factors such as wearability and presence of air bubbles between the clothing layers. The presence of underwear also has a significant effect on overall protection. The test is carried out by exposing a fully dressed manikin to a flame for at least four seconds. The manikin has over 100 sensors placed on the body, arms, legs and head. These sensors measure the temperature variation on the surface of the manikin, which is designed to replicate the heat energy absorption level of human skin. The thermal energy absorbed by the sensors is recorded on a software, taking data for up to 120 seconds after the burn. The information gathered is elaborated into a body map showing the skin burns (no burn, first, second, and third degree burns). ISO 13506 does not specify ‘pass’ or ‘reject’ criteria. One of the most useful functions of this manikin test is directly comparing different garments under identical conditions. Comparisons can be made between different fabrics, designs, manufacturing types, finishings, etc., in order to determine which types and combinations of materials behaves best in a given situation.

EN ISO 11611

EN ISO 11611: 2015
Protective workwear for welding and allied processes

This standard applies to protective clothing intended for welding and allied techniques (excluding protection of the hands). The international standard specifies two classes with specific performance requirements. Class 1 protects against the less hazardous welding techniques and situations in which minor spatter and radiant heat are involved. Class 2 is intended for the more hazardous techniques and situations in which major spatter and radiant heat are involved. EN ISO 11611 requires that protective coveralls cover the upper and lower torso, the neck, arms and legs. It also makes specific design recommendations to prevent molten drops to spread over the whole garment. Tests must be carried out on pre-treated components, as per the manufacturer’s instructions on the label. Required tests: Tensile strength (minimum 400 N) Tear resistance (minimum 15 N for class 1 and 20 N for class 2) Burst strength, Requirements for dimensional variation, flame spreading (A1 + A2)* Heat transfer from molten drops (radiation) Electrical resistance * This test must be performed on both fabric and seams.

EN ISO 14116: 2015
Protection against flame – Clothing, materials and assembled materials

This norm specifies the performance requirements of protective materials, combined materials and garments to minimize the risk of catching fire. It also specifies further requirements. Protective clothing under this norm is designed to protect the worker against occasional and brief contact with small flames in low flammability risk situations, without further heat sources. EN ISO 14116 is divided into three flame propagation protection categories: category 1 garments must not be worn directly on the skin. They must be worn over category 2 or category 3 garments. Cat. 2 and 3 items can be worn directly on the skin. Tests must be carried out on pre-treated components, as per the manufactuer’s instructions on the label. Required tests: liimited flame spreading, tensile strength, tear resistance, seams strength.

EX

ATEX Directive
The ATEX directive defines the equipment allowed for use in environments with potentially explosive atmospheres. Portwest recommends using EN 1149 certified garments for better protection in ATEX environments. Portwest garments have not been evaluated as per ATEX directives, which currently does not include PPE.

EN 14058 – Clothing for protection in cool environments
This standard specifies the requirements and methods to test the heat retention performance of clothing in cool environments. Cool environments are defined as a possible combination of humidity and wind at temperatures of -5 °C and above. At moderately low temperatures, these garments can be used not only outdoors, but also for indoors activities. In these cases, garments do not need to be made with waterproof materials. Therefore, these requirements are optional under this standard.

IEC 61482

IEC 61482-2: 2009
Protective clothing against thermal hazards from electric arcs.

This standard specifies the requirements and testing methods applicable to protective materials and clothing against electric arcs. An electric arc is a high-density electrical current discharge between conductors, which generaetes intense light and heat. Two international test models were developed to provide information on a garment’s resistance against the thermal effects of electric arcs. Each method provides different information. To comply with the norm, one or both tests must be carried out. An electric arc is a high-density electrical current discharge between conductors, which generaetes intense light and heat. Two international test models were developed to gather information on a garment’s resistance against the head deriving from electric arcs. Each method provides different information. To comply with the norm, one or both tests must be carried out. Box test method IEC 61482-1-2. The fabric/garment is exposed to an electric arc inside a specific box with a certain electrode setup for 0,5 seconds. Class 1 corresponds to a 4 kA arc current, class 2 to 7 kA. Test conditions for class 1 and 2 simulate the typical exposure to a short-circuit current of 4 kA and 7 kA respectively. Open arc test method IEC 61482-1-1. This testing method is used to determine the ATPV (Arc Thermal Performance Value) or EBT (Energy Break-open Threshold) of a fabric. The ATPV is the amount of energy required to cause a 2nd grade burn through the material before breaking (50% probability). EBT is the amount of energy with which the material is broken (50% probability). This is usually the upper thermal limit of a fabric with damaged fibers and reduced mechanical strength. Both APTV and EBT are expressed in calories/cm2. EN 61482-1-1 tests the fabric with a 8 kA arc for different durations. The worker is considered safe if the ATPV of their clothing is higher than the incident energy value of the arc flash calculated in the worst possible case during a risk evaluation. Garments can be layered to obtain a higher ATPV or EBT value. For example, a thermal layer can increase the EBT value by 4,3 Cal/m2, and coveralls can reach an APTV of 13,6 Cal/m2. However, the ATPV/EBT combined value will be higher than the sum of the two layers, as the air gap adds further protection. The open arc test also measures the Heat Attenuation Factor (HAF), that is the amount of heat absorbed by the fabric. ASTM F1959 / F1959M-14 FABRIC-ONLY TEST This test is the same as EN 61482-1-1. Pre-treatment may vary. The worker is considered safe if the ATPV of their clothing is higher than the incident energy value of the arc flash calculated in the worst possible case during a risk evaluation. Garments can be layered to obtain the combined ATPV or EBT value. For example, a thermal layer can increase the Ebt value by 4,3 Cal/m2, and coveralls can reach an APTV of 13,6 Cal/m2. However, the ATPV/EBT combined value will be higher than the sum of the two layers, as the air gap adds further protection. The open arc test also measures the Heat Attenuation Factor (HAF), that is the amount of heat absorbed by the fabric. FABRIC TEST ASTM F1959/F1959M-14. This test is the same as EN 61482-1-1. Pre-treatment may vary.

IEC 61482-2

IEC 61482-2: 2018
Protective clothing against thermal hazard from electric arcs.

The updated version of IEC 61482-2:2018 has a new symbol, substituting the symbol from 2009. ELIM, Energy Limit Value, is a new value introduced in the update of EC 61482-1-1, open arc testing method. It is the maximum incident energy that a protective garment can withstand without damage to the fabric, and without second-degree burns on the wearer. The higher the calorific power of the garment or fabric, the higher the protection for the wearer.

EN 1149-5

EN 1149-5: 2018
Protective clothing – Electrostatic properties – Part 5. Material performance and design

The European norm specifies the requirements for materials and designs of protective equipment that dissipates electricity to prevent discharges which might cause fire. These requirements might not be sufficient in atmospheres enriched with flammable oxygen. This European norm does not apply to protection against electric grid voltage. EN 1149 is composed of the following parts – EN 1149-1: Surface resistance testing method. EN 1149-2: Through-material resistance test method (vertical resistance). EN 1149-3: Charge decay measurement methods. EN 1149-4: Garment test (during development phase) EN 1149-5: material performance and design requirements Electrostatic protective clothing must be capable of permanently covering all non-conform materials during risk exposure. Conductive parts (zips, buttons, etc.) are allowed, provided they are covered by an external layer.

EN 13034

EN 13034: 2005 + A1:2009
Protective clothing against liquid chemicals

Performance requirements for chemical protective clothing which offer limted protection performance against liquid chemicals (Type 6 and Type PB [6]). This norm specifies the requirements for limited use and reusable clothing with limited chemical protection. Limited protection clothing is intended for use in cases of potential exposure to light spray, liquid spray or low-pressure, low-volume splashes, against which a complete permeation barrier (at the molecular level) is not required. The norm concerns both chemical protection coveralls (Type 6) and partial body protection (Type PB [6]). Type 6 protective suits are tested using a mix of spray and liquid. The water is mixed with a gentle detergent to produce a specific surface tension, and with a pigment to visually evaluate permeation. Beneath the protective garment, the tester wears an absorbent suit that absorbs potential leaks and gets stained with the pigment. Success or failure are determined by the total stained area measured from three protective suits, compared with the required value. Chemicals may leak through zips and seams, but also permeate the fabric itself. Other tests are also illustrated, for example abrasion resistance, tear resistance, tensile strength, puncture resistance, ignition resistance, resistance to permeation by chemical substances, and resistance of seams.

FIRE RETARDANT CLOTHING - WASHING

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Flame retardant clothing must be regularly washed and dried to remove dirt and contaminants. Good quality laundry service is important. The garments must be washed following the manufacturer’s instructions on the label. Incorrect washing of fire-retardant clothing can seriously compromise their performance and wearability. The fire-retardant properties of the garment will last much longer if cleaned and washed correctly.

Washing / Drying procedure: pre-treatment
If stains are hard to remove, they can be pre-treated by rubbing them lightly with liquid soap before putting the garment in the washing machine. Stubborn stains should be pre-treated with a specific stain removal product as soon as possible, well in advance to allow it to penetrate and soften the stain. Never use chlorine bleach or detergents containing bleach, as they could decolorize the fabric and compromise its flame retardant properties. Fabric softeners, starches and other washing additives are not recommended, as they can change the fire-retardant performance and even act as fuel in case of combustion.

Washing:
Always wash contaminated clothes separately from other clothing. Fireproof fabrics can usually be washed at high temperatures, though the maximum washing temperature of the garment is determined by its components (e.g. reflective band, badge, etc.) Always follow the washing temperature indicated on the label. Always wash and dry the clothes inside and outside to minimize surface abrasion, to help maintain the surface integrity of the fabric. Zips should be closed during washing.

Washing machine loading:
To guarantee better results, the washing machine should not be overloaded, so that the clothes can move freely during washing and rinsing.

Drying:
Spin drying is usually not recommended, as the temperature is usually too high and might cause shrinkage. Cotton or cotton-mixed fabrics must not be left to dry for too long. Improper drying is the most common cause of shrinkage. Do not hang under direct sunlight. This may cause discoloring.

Industrial washing:
ISO 15797 is the international standard for industrial washing and drying procedures. All Portwest products for industrial washing, labelled EN ISO 15797, are tested according to washing procedure 8 for color workwear able to withstand tunnel drying.
Flame retardand finishes are maintained for the normal life cycle of the garment, as long as product care instructions are followed.