This paper by Bill Jordon of Dow Chemical has long been an inspiration to me. I know others were involved in this work at Dow like Jim Hill and Daleep Mohla but Bill’s paper and influence was recognized a few years back at the IEEE-ESW (IEEE Electrical Safety Workshop). I had this paper for many years, always thinking to put it on the website with Bill’s permission. I received the permission and put it off, wanting to clean it up. Just decided to put it on the web and clean it up later. This is a great insight into the idea of preventing ignition AND providing a certain level of protection. The systems have changed from Bill’s day. More amperage today but Bill’s approach BEFORE there were any standard test methods saved lives. You can read other of the stories in the IEEE Yellow Book but Bill didn’t get credit for those directly. Most of them came from THIS paper.
Interestingly enough, these suits predate most suits and were developed by Steelgrip for Dow Chemical. The first flash suits were made of 100% Nomex with clear faceshields and they worked. The suits have gotten MUCH better since then. If I’m not mistaken, these were the first arc flash suits developed. They were not tested until years later and had a rating on the body of about 18 cal on the front and 9 cal on the back with little of a rating on the facepiece but they prevented most burns anyway. All workers in this paper wore flame resistant, non-melting (what we would call arc-rated today)coveralls under the flash suit.
My hat’s off to a champion in electrical safety and a good man, Bill Jordan!