Question: Should I be Testing FR Gloves for Arc Flash Exposures to ASTM F1959 or ASTM F2675?
Answer: Today, gloves should be tested to ASTM F2675. ASTM F2675 is a specific test for gloves. ASTM F1959 is used to test flat fabrics on a panel.
ASTM F2675 allowed materials previously tested on panels to be used for gloves with an ASTM F1959 test result, but if the gloves were constructed by sewing the fabric into a glove, ASTM F1959 is not the right standard. This is important because NFPA 70E mentions ASTM F2675 for arc testing of gloves and OSHA 1910.269 requires AR gloves for exposures greater than 14 cal/cm². Some companies still use ASTM F1959 data because it gives a higher rating on some fabrics. Gloves, unlike most garments, are form-fitting and the glove stand takes into account the stretching of a glove to place on the hand and better approximates a material’s shrinkage.
Even though the standard was just published in 2013, the glove form in ASTM F2675 has been used since 2003 and it works much better on leather since leather shrinks off the panel in ASTM F1959. The apparatus used in ASTM F2675 allows the leather to shrink onto the hand-form and provides a better protection value.
The critical factor for a glove manufacturer is to use the correct sized glove in testing–using a smaller glove on the size 10 (hand width of 254-279 mm) glove stand will result in a lower rating. The committee decided to test one size rather than have multiple stands for each size; this saves money while giving a representative rating for a glove design.
Also important to know: ArcWear tests gloves with design components like TPR and labels, but the glove rating is completed on a design representing the least protective part of the glove. If a glove has multiple layers on part of the palm or on parts of the back of hand, the glove will be rated without that extra layer and then evaluated as-sold with additional shots in the arc to assure extra patches, TPR, etc. do not ignite at a reasonable level. If you’re unsure about sampling needs, reach out and our staff can help… having a photo is helpful!
While there is currently no specification for AR gloves, an AR protector glove specification is under ballot in ASTM F18 and ArcWear follows those principles when doing arc testing for gloves. The IEC TC78 committee is also working on a similar glove test method for use in Europe. Updates will be provided as they become available.