NFPA Issues two TIAs to the 2112 Standard
Author: Stacy Klausing
Publication: ArcWear, September 2013
Did you know?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued two tentative interim amendments (TIA) this year to NFPA 2112 Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel against Flash Fire.
The first TIA (12-1, issued March 7, 2013 and effective March 27, 2013) addresses the testing of garments with multiple and separable layers. The document now states that if the flame-resistant garment has multiple layers intended to be worn separately, the outer layer itself must be tested, and the inner layer(s) must be tested separately for compliance. It also addresses multi-layer FR garments intended to be worn only as one garment together; in this case, only the outer layer of the garment has to be tested.
The second TIA (12-2 issued August 1, 2013 and effective August 20, 2013) clarifies differences between "interlining" and "cold weather insulation material" and addresses the testing required for cold weather insulation materials.
The definitions of interlining and cold weather materials have been expanded. Text was added to clarify that interlining is intended to only over a small portion of the overall garment, and that interlining materials do not come into contact with the wearer's skin. Cold weather insulation material, on the other hand, generally has an area that covers majority of the wearer's body, and may be textile batting(s) alone or attached to a face cloth. Examples of interlinings in the annex include fabric to stiffen waist bands or fabric inside of a closure flap on a coverall.
Fiber content requirements were expanded- it is now required that the fiber content be labeled for each primary fabric layer including cold weather insulation materials, but excluding interlinings and labels.
For garments with multiple layers that include an outer layer and removable cold weather insulation layer, a warning must now be printed on the label stating that all layers must be properly secured and worn in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. It is also now required that garments that have multiple layers, including a removable cold weather insulation layer, must have a conspicuous label attached to the removable insulation layer that states the following: "DO NOT WEAR THIS LINER BY ITSELF. FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE FLASH FIRE REQUIREMENTS OF NFPA 2112, THE COMPLETE GARMENT MUST BE WORN. FOR COMPLIANCE INFORMATION, SEE THE PRODUCT LABEL ON OUTER GARMENT." Every effort is being made to ensure that users are aware of safe garment configurations.
In the design section (Chapter 6), new text was added to specify the design requirements of cold weather insulation materials. There is now a Section 6.4, with subsections, to address the appropriate use of cold weather insulation materials. Garments are permitted to have liners and cold weather insulation materials if said liner is integral to the garment or removable. If the liner is removable, it cannot be worn independently unless the liner material meets the appropriate fabric requirements in Chapter 7. If the liner has cold weather insulation materials that do not meet the requirements of Chapter 7, the manufacturer must label the liner with the following statement, "DO NOT WEAR THIS LINER BY ITSELF. FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE FLASH FIRE REQUIREMENTS OF NFPA 2112, THE COMPLETE GARMENT MUST BE WORN. FOR COMPLIANCE INFORMATION, SEE THE PRODUCT LABEL ON OUTER GARMENT" as well as design the garment so that it doesn't allow separation of the liner from the outer layer.
Heat Transfer Performance
New subsections were added in section 7 under Heat Transfer Performance that coincide with the first TIA regarding testing of garments with multiple and separable layers. If the garment has multiple layers intended to be worn together, only the outer layer must be tested. If the layers are intended to be separable, the outer layer and inner layer(s) must be separately evaluated.
Under the flame resistance requirements, cold weather insulation materials were added to the text. The requirements now state that cold weather insulation materials must be tested for flame resistance and must not melt and drip, or have a char length more than 100 mm. For flame resistance testing, cold weather insulation materials are required to be tested pristine and after either dry cleaning or laundering 100 times. A new subsection, 8.3.13, was added to identify the sampling requirements of cold weather insulation materials for flame resistance testing.
Heat and Thermal Shrinkage
Under heat and thermal shrinkage, there is no longer a shrinkage requirement for cold weather insulation materials. The section stating a maximum 20% shrinkage requirement for cold weather materials has been deleted. It is still required that cold weather insulation materials be evaluated for evidence of melting and dripping, which is still not permitted. Section 8.4 now clearly designates sample requirements for cold weather insulation materials, which have to be tested both pristine and after three cycles of either dry cleaning or laundering. A new subsection, 8.4.11, was added to detail the specific sampling requirements for heat resistance.
As a result of the TIAs' implemented into NFPA 2112, the most commonly used materials for insulation will now pass the standard, and garments using these insulating materials can be rated for flash fire in accordance with NFPA 2112. This is a significant improvement in the process, and as a result, both UL and SEI can fully certify insulated garments to NFPA 2112Links to the TIA documents.