ASTM F2621 - 12

    Standard Practice for Determining Response Characteristics and Design Integrity of Arc Rated Finished Products in an Electric Arc Exposure

    Active Standard ASTM F2621 | Developed by Subcommittee: F18.65

    Book of Standards Volume: 10.03


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 This practice can be used for a range of purposes including incident replication, development of improved arc rated protective products, and the determination of the response characteristics and design integrity of new or used arc rated finished products intended for use as protection for workers exposed to electric arcs.

    5.1.1 In-service garments can have very different wash and wear histories. Caution must be used when applying test results from a particular used garment to other used garments. Factors to consider include the garments’ wear histories, work environments, and tasks for which the garments were worn; the methods and facilities for garment maintenance; the number of launderings or processings the garments have been subjected to; and other factors that could impact the protective performance of different garments. Test results from specific used garments should be considered only an approximation of results that might be obtained from other used garments of the same type.

    5.1.2 Because of the variability of the arc exposure, different heat transmission values may result for individual sensors. The results of each sensor are evaluated in accordance with Section 12.

    5.2 This practice maintains the specimen in a static, vertical position and does not involve movement except that resulting from the exposure.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice provides procedural guidelines for conducting arc testing on finished products intended for use as thermal protection by workers who may be exposed to electric arcs.

    1.1.1 This practice is intended to provide procedural guidelines to improve consistency across testing groups. This practice is not intended to define the end points, parameters, or measures to be studied by the tester.

    1.1.2 This practice is supplemental to Test Methods F1959/F1959M and F2178. Protective materials used to manufacture arc rated finished products shall be tested according to Test Method F1959/F1959M prior to being tested according to this practice, and face protective products shall be tested according to Test Method F2178 prior to being tested according to this practice. Test Methods F1959/F1959M and F2178 provide definitive numeric arc ratings for materials intended for use in finished products worn by workers exposed to electric arcs.

    1.1.2.1 Discussion—Face protective products such as face shields and hoods are tested as finished products using Test Method F2178. These items may be subsequently tested using this practice in order to determine the performance of the interface area between the face protective product and the arc flash PPE worn on the torso.

    1.1.3 The test specimens used in this practice shall be in the form of arc-rated finished products. These arc-rated finished products may include, but are not limited to, single layer garments, multi-layer garments or ensembles, cooling vests, gloves, chaps, rainwear, balaclavas, faceshields, and hood assemblies with hood shield windows. Non-arc rated finished products shall not be used except that flammable under-layers may be included when part of a flame resistant system or for detecting heat transmission level through the finished product and flammable finished products may in some cases be appropriate for incident reenactment.

    1.1.4 The arc rated finished product specimens are new products as sold or products which have been used for the intended purpose for a designated time period.

    1.1.5 Fabrics, fabric layered systems, sewing thread, findings and closures used in arc rated finished products tested under this practice shall meet the requirements of Specification F1506.

    1.1.6 Rainwear materials, findings and closures tested under this practice shall meet the requirements of Specification F1891.

    1.2 This practice shall be used to measure and describe the response characteristics or design integrity of arc-rated materials, products, or assemblies in the form of finished products when exposed to radiant and convective energy generated by an electric arc under controlled laboratory conditions.

    1.3 This practice can be used to determine the integrity of closures and seams, the protective performance of arc-rated products in areas where garment overlap occurs or where heraldry is used, and response characteristics such as afterflame time, melting, dripping, deformation, shrinkage, electric arc ignition, or other damage, or combination thereof, of fabrics, systems of fabrics, flammable undergarments when included as part of a system, sewing thread, findings and closures.

    1.4 This practice can be used to identify the effectiveness of finished product specimens in attenuating heat, sound or pressure waves, or combination thereof.

    1.5 This practice can be used for incident reenactment, training demonstrations and material/design comparisons.

    1.6 The values stated in either SI units or in other units shall be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system must be used independently of the other, without combining values in any way.

    1.7 This standard shall not be used to describe or appraise the fire hazard or fire risk of materials, products, or assemblies under actual fire conditions. However, results of this test may be used as elements of a fire assessment, which takes into account all of the factors, which are pertinent to an assessment of the fire hazard of a particular end use.

    1.8 This standard does not purport to describe or appraise the effect of the electric arc fragmentation explosion and subsequent molten metal splatter, which involves the pressure wave containing molten metals and possible fragments of other materials except to the extent that evidence of projectile damage is assessed and reported, and an optional determination of the attenuation of sound or pressure wave, or both, due to the presence of the finished product specimen may be reported.

    1.9 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For specific precautions, see Section 7.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D123 Terminology Relating to Textiles

    D4391 Terminology Relating to The Burning Behavior of Textiles

    F1494 Terminology Relating to Protective Clothing

    F1506 Performance Specification for Flame Resistant and Arc Rated Textile Materials for Wearing Apparel for Use by Electrical Workers Exposed to Momentary Electric Arc and Related Thermal Hazards

    F1891 Specification for Arc and Flame Resistant Rainwear

    F1958/F1958M Test Method for Determining the Ignitability of Non-flame-Resistant Materials for Clothing by Electric Arc Exposure Method Using Mannequins

    F1959/F1959M Test Method for Determining the Arc Rating of Materials for Clothing

    F2178 Test Method for Determining the Arc Rating and Standard Specification for Eye or Face Protective Products


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.260 (Protection against electric shock. Live working)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 46181500(Safety apparel)


    DOI: 10.1520/F2621-12

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