SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1992

Energy as Performance Criterion for Chain Saw Protective Clothing


In North America, the performance of chain saw protective leggings and footwear is actually evaluated by measuring the threshold stopping speed (TSS) of a gas-powered chain saw. The TSS is an index value that permits a rating of the performance of the protective clothing. The TSS is the greatest chain or motor speed at which no cut-through occurs, measured before the cutting action of the chain takes place. The speed could be related to the power of the motor but the speed is changing rapidly as is the power. Thus, it is difficult to calculate the energy dissipated by the protective clothing.

In order to improve the testing method and to calculate the energy supplied by the motor, a test rig has been perfected. It consists of an electric chain saw (1,4 kW), a support for protective footwear and an electronic data acquisition system. The following data are collected: voltage, current, speed of the motor and cut-through time if any cut-through. All tests are monitored on a high speed video camera.

Seven types of protective footwear and three types of protective pads have been tested. The energy supplied by the motor ranges from 6 joules to 870 joules. The measurement of energy allows a better classification because the relative range of the values (6 to 800 joules) is larger than the one of TSS (10,7 to 13,5 m/s). The energy having a defined zero, integrating TSS and cut-through time criteria and being continuously measurable seems to be a better performance criterion.

Author Information

Arteau, J
Institut de recherche en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), Montréal, Québec
Turcot, D
Institut de recherche en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), Montréal, Québec
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Developed by Committee: F23
Pages: 703–716
DOI: 10.1520/STP19199S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5194-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1430-2