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Standards Updates: ASTM F2621-22

The ASTM Committee F18 on Electrical Protective Equipment for Workers has published a new edition with title change of ASTM F2621-22 Standard Practice for Evaluating Response Characteristics of Safety Products in an Electric Arc Exposure.

in 2021, the standard was updated to remove of the term “electric arc ignition” to a broader term of “ignition.” While the determination of ignition from a laboratory testing standpoint remains the same, the removal of this term to a broader version removes any confusion of the determination of an initiation of combustion related to an electric arc, while still specifying the presence of a large ignition.

in 2022, a title change was published and more specific information was added on the white cotton indicator product used under garments in testing.

The words “arc rated product” were removed from the body of the text as some products that cannot be arc rated can still be evaluated using this practice (for example, respirators). Section 11.1.3 now recommends using a target of 20 cal/cm2 or 40 cal/cm2 when evaluating non-arc rated products, with a required minimum of 20 cal/cm2 to check for ignition. Lower incident energy levels are not prohibited in testing, but must be accompanied by at least a 20 cal/cm2 exposure. In addition to the required exposure levels, the new version of the standard requires a minimum of 6 specimens if the product is not arc rated. For arc rated products, a minimum of one specimen for single layer garments and two specimens for multi-layer garments must be evaluated.

The subjective evaluation section was updated to remove melting, dripping to “melting and dripping”, an important distinction, and additional observations like location and extent of deformation, afterflame time, duration, and extent (for example, reaching the mouth area of the mannequin) were added amongst others.

The reporting section was revised to include more specific details on official test reports.

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