This new standard, several years in the making now allows many materials to be used in protector gloves for rubber insulating gloves. For several decades the only option for protector gloves was “grain cowhide, buffed grain cowhide, grain deerskin, grain pigskin, grain horsehide, or grain goatskin” of a certain thickness. No specifications existed for puncture, tear, cut, seam strength, or the cuff flame resistance. Fortunately leather has performed well for flame and cut but did have issues but no performance based standard was available until now to attempt to address these issues.
This has now changed with ASTM F3258 Standard Specification for Protectors for Rubber Insulating Gloves Meeting Specific Performance Requirements. The standard task group tested many of the glove leathers on the market, established minimum performance criteria (based on the weakest of leather allowed by the ASTM F696 standard) and provided initial guidance for specifiers of protector gloves to specify the characteristics they want in their protector gloves.
The following test are required to be performed:
- Puncture Resistance
- Arc Rating (AR)
- Afterflame time limit in Arc Test
- Arc Ignition Withstand
- Thread requirements
The following optional tests are specified in ANSI 105 and NFPA 1971 if required by the specifying party:
- Abrasion Resistance ANSI 105
- ASTM D3389 for Coated materials or ASTM D3884 for Textile materials
- Classification of Dexterity ANSI 105
- Torque Test NFPA 1971- Sec. 8.68
With the introduction of this standard the ASTM F18 committee will continue to drive innovation by allowing non leather materials like para-aramids, flame resistant threads and other innovations to enter the marketplace with tested performance characteristics. In the process of testing one glaring weakness was observed in ASTM F696 gloves in that there was no requirement for cuff materials to be flame resistant. While we know of no ignition in incidents of glove cuffs. In testing many burned, melted and dripped in arc flash exposures. Any glove dual certified to both ASTM F696 AND ASTM F3258 or certified to ASTM F696, arc rated by ASTM F2675 and passing the ignition withstand test in F2675 will no longer have a cuff material that can ignite, melt or continue to burn. Watch for lighter weight, more cut resistant arc rated protector gloves in the near future. The final version of F3258 is being edited and should be online in the next few weeks.
ArcWear, a division of Kinectrics is the only test lab ISO 17025 accredited for all these tests as a one-stop-shop.