Volume 2, Issue 4 (April 2005)
Improvements in the Measurement of Cut Protection Performance: Revisions to ASTM F 1790
Workers exposed to mechanical hazards that could cause cuts or lacerations to the hands and arms have a need to understand the cut protection performance of protective apparel. Cut protection performance of clothing can be measured using CEN 388, ASTM International standard F 1790-97, and ISO 13997. The ASTM and ISO test methods employ force-distance testers to determine the cut resistance of a material when exposed to a cutting edge under specified loads. The latter two test methods provide a process for differentiating the cut protection performance of various materials such as cotton, leather, and high performance fibers.
ASTM task group F23.20.02 sought to improve the reliability and reproducibility of the F 1790-97 standard in a way that creates a global standard for measuring cut performance, demonstrates equivalence of results between different test equipment, and reduces variability in the test method. The revised test method has been balloted by the main and sub-committees for adoption.
This paper will outline the results of extensive interlaboratory studies on the test equipment, calibration method, and calibration materials. The implications of other testing aspects on the harmonization of the standards will be described. This information will be useful for end users, distributors, and manufacturers interested in measuring the cut performance of clothing.