ASTM F2621 / F2621M - 19

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

    Active Standard ASTM F2621 / F2621M | 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. 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 When using the practice for evaluating flame resistance, great care should be taken since ignition by electric arc is a statistical phenomenon. An exposure of 20 cal/cm2 has been consistently shown to evaluate most ignitable materials but some may require higher energy to reach the breakopen point of the fabric depending on coatings or specific fiber types. Consider using a vertical flame test such as Test Method D6413 to evaluate for ignition and use this practice for illustration.

    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 identifies protocols for use in conducting arc testing on finished products intended for use as thermal protection by workers who may be exposed to electric arc hazards.

    1.1.1 The practice is also used for other components which can be exposed to electric arc, but which do not require an arc rating.

    1.1.1.1 If items are tested and they do not meet the appropriate standard, it is the responsibility of the specimen submitter to provide this information for indication in the test report.

    1.2 Arc Rated protective items are typically tested using this practice to evaluate the performance of the interface area between the product and the other arc flash PPE or to evaluate zippers and other findings.

    1.3 When evaluating arc rated PPE with non-arc rated PPE for due diligence (such as respirators, etc.), this practice does not result in an arc rating and non-arc rated components or products shall be clearly indicated as having no arc rating.

    1.4 This practice is not intended to produce an arc rating and does not replicate in all types of arc exposures.

    1.5 This practice is used with the following standards:

    1.5.1 Protective fabric materials receive arc ratings from Test Method F1959/F1959M.

    1.5.2 Face protective products receive arc ratings from Test Method F2178.

    1.5.3 Gloves receive arc ratings from Test Method F2675.

    1.5.4 Rainwear materials, findings and closures are specified by Specification F1891.

    1.5.5 Garments are specified by Specification F1506.

    1.6 The test specimens used in this practice are typically 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, sleeves, chaps, rainwear, balaclavas, faceshields, and hood assemblies with hood shield windows. Non-arc rated finished products may be included when part of a flame-resistant system, or for evaluating heat transmission through the finished product for incident reenactment, or for evaluation of products needed but not available as arc rated (such as respirators, etc.)

    1.7 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.

    1.8 This practice is used to determine 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.

    1.9 This practice can be used to determine the integrity of closures and seams in arc exposures, the protective performance of arc-rated products in areas where garment overlap occurs or where heraldry reflective trim or other items are 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.

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

    1.11 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system are not necessarily exact equivalents; therefore, to ensure conformance with the standard, each system shall be used independently of the other, and values from the two systems shall not be combined.

    1.12 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.

    1.13 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.

    1.14 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For specific precautions, see Section 7.

    1.15 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


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

    IEC Standards

    IEC 61482-1-2

    ASTM Standards

    D123 Terminology Relating to Textiles

    D4391 Terminology Relating to The Burning Behavior of Textiles

    D6413 Test Method for Flame Resistance of Textiles (Vertical Test)

    F1494 Terminology Relating to Protective Clothing

    F1506 Performance Specification for Flame Resistant and Electric Arc Rated Protective Clothing Worn by Workers Exposed to Flames and Electric Arcs

    F1891 Specification for Arc and Flame Resistant Rainwear

    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

    F2675 Test Method for Determining Arc Ratings of Hand Protective Products Developed and Used for Electrical Arc Flash Protection


    ICS Code

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

    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/F2621_F2621M-19

    Citation Format

    ASTM F2621 / F2621M-19, Standard Practice for Determining Response Characteristics and Design Integrity of Arc Rated Finished Products and Evaluating other Products in an Electric Arc Exposure, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2019, www.astm.org

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