by , on August 25, 2009

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In This Issue
Arc Test Dates
Sign up for ESW 2010
OSHA 10 Hour T&D Class at
Arc Flash Blanket Manufacturers
ArcWear Site NEW and Improved
High Vis Patent Issued
Four Types of Arc Flashes article by Hugh Hoagland
Burn up the Myth: Does NESC allow EBT ratings?

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August 2009

Dear ArcLetter Member,

The ArcWear™ Electric Arc and Flash Fire Newsletter is a quick update on Flame Resistant Clothing issues and news from OSHA and standards committees. The newsletter is FREE, reaches over 17,000 people and will bring you up to date on the issues that surround flame resistant clothing for flash fire hazards and the electric arc. For previous newsletters or to sign up, visit

ArcWear™ Arc Testing Dates
Need Arc Testing?

Sept 21-24
Oct 5-6 Blanket Testing Only
Oct 26-29
Nov 23-26
ASTM F1959, ASTM F2178, ASTM F887 fall protection arc testing and mannequin testing at the Kinectrics Lab in
Toronto on the dates above.
Ship materials or clothing to:
Hugh Hoagland
13113 Eastpoint Park Blvd.
Suite E
Louisville, KY
PH: 502-314-7158
We must receive one week before the test date for sample preparation or make arrangements to ship to lab. New and non US/Canadian Customers must make payment before test date.  Testing is offered on a first come/first served basis with priority for consulting customers.  New policy: $100 per material for prep/washing and cutting panels and $100 for international report shipping. No guarantee is made of when testing will occur.

Sponsor link (Look at Milliken’s arc flash material)
Milliken Amplitude
ESW 2010 Get Signed Up
IEEE ESW 2010Sign up today for the 2010 ESW Memphis, TN February 1-5, 2010
There are a few things I attend every year and one is the PCIC Electrical Safety Workshop.  You should too.  This is the best conference on the latest in electrical safety.  The papers are VERY practical and up-to-date.

New OSHA Certified 10 hr. T&D Safety Course
Mike Gibson OSHA 10 Hour T&D Arc Flash Traininge-Hazard adding a new class and technical trainer

Mike Gibson, CSP, CUSA is joining e-Hazard today full time.  Mike is a former utility trainer from EON. He holds a M.S. in Safety and is an Adjunct Professor in Safety at Indiana University (SouthEast) and one of the few qualified, certified trainers for the OSHA 10 Hour T&D Class, and OSHA 500 class.  Mike chose the team because of the quality trainers and training materials  used in their curriculum.
Mike’s class brings our utility classes to three.

1. Arc Flash Calculations and PPE (Advanced utility safety engineering class)

Steve Cress & Hugh Hoagland
2. NESC and Arc Flash Safety (Our most popular utility safety class)
Hugh Hoagland or Mike Gibson
3. OSHA 10 Hr. T&D (Certified by OSHA)

Arc Flash Blanket Standard Article (Supplier List)
ASTM F2676 Arc Flash Test

ASTM released an article on the new ASTM F2676 Blanket Standard
The new blanket standard is up and running and several companies have certified blankets to the new standard.  Research is commencing to suppliment the extensive research from ConEd in the past few years at KEMA labs.

ArcWear Site Updated with more resources!

Check out the site today.

New High Visiblity Fabric Patent Issued to ITI

ITI Announces Patent on ANSI 107/ ASTM F1506 Complaint Fabrics.
Innovative Textiles Inc. (ITI)  has been issued a patent (Patent No.7,553,782 ) on its ANSI 107 / ASTM 1506 complaint Reliant™ fabrics. ITI manufacturers of FR and arc rated fabrics. Reliant™ HiViz arc rated fabrics meet the FR requirements of ASTM 1506 and high visibility standards of ANSI 107-2004.

Reliant™ HiVz knits are engineered to combine the protection from electric arc hazards and direct flame with enhanced daylight visibility. John Wasylyk of ITI added, “We have had a tremendous response to the Reliant™ HiVz. End wearer response has been exceptional, based on the weight, performance and superior comfort. It is not stiff at all and wearers feel like they are wearing a regular Tshirt, knowing they are protected on the job.”

Click here to read the patent online.

Four Types of Arc Flashes in Injuries in new article by Hugh Hoagland
New Article in OH&S Magazine looks at new studies on arc flashes showing 4 types.

“Arc Flash Training & PPE Protection”, Hugh Hoagland, Occupational Health and Safety Magazine, August 2009 has broken new ground on arc flashes which some do not consider in making hazard assessments.  This new information makes prevention of ignition even more important than what is often called “protection”.
Some want to do calculations and lower the energy levels and not provide arc-rated basic wear.  Hoagland shows the fallacy of that approach in this new article with new research to illustrate what the arc flash experts already know: prevention of ignition saves most lives in arc flash events.

Burn up the Myth: ?

Question: Which is better for arc flash exposures, FR Cotton, FR Cotton Blends, Modacrylic blends or Aramids? Answer: Actually I have been accused of being pro this or that over the years.  Once I was told I was FR wool biased.  The reason is that I know each material has its place and some uses or customers are in need of something others don’t need or value.  If you look through companies I consult for you will see all the above.  The first material I tested in arc was actually non-FR cotton.  Soon after we began working with Nomex and FR Cottons like Indura.  The next major material I evaluated was BanWear, the first cotton/nylon blend followed by an FR wool lining from Montreal and in 1994 we have looked at Kermel, Tecgen, Twyron, Basofil, LenzingFR (FR Rayon), Protex Modacrylic, PBI, Kynol, Melamine, PBO and hundreds of blends of the above.  I like all of these materials.  I like them because they didn’t ignite in arc flashes and continue to burn.  We were the first company to rate many materials.
Each material has pros and cons.  Cost, comfort and weight are often considered to be the major issues but most of the main reasons for choosing fabrics is the end use.  Aramids can be VERY long lasting and though the cost is more initially, they often pay off in the end.  They are lighter weight but some have issues with moisture transport and other comfort issues.  These have been fixed over the past 15 years or so with blends, construction and finishes.  Aramids also have a real strength in nominal acid exposures (like battery rooms) because they don’t lose much strength when exposed to small amounts of acid).
FR cottons are relatively much less expensive but aren’t as durable.  They work best for a contractor who has high turnover but uniform services can make aramids work like this too by changing out.
FR cottons have fixed the durability over the years by changing the chemical process and preparation processes to make the FR treatment more durable and adding small amounts of nylon to make the material last better in washing.
FR wools and wool blends have their own place.  Some FR cottons work well for molten steel or iron splash or spatter but wool is often even better and FR wool blends are about the only thing that works for molten aluminum splash and cryolite splash.  So electricians working around these hazards (i.e. an aluminum smelter) might consider wearing FR wool blends.
Newer or specialty materials like Tecgen, pPan, PBO, PBI, Kynol, and Basofil have higher LOI factors and add less afterflame in certain exposures.
Modacrylic and modacrylic blends are making huge inroads along with Lenzing or viscose blends.  The comfort of these materials in blends is unsurpassed.  Blending them with stronger fibers also helps with life.  Modacrylic also is easily dyeable which makes it the only material that is arc rated to date which can easily hold florescent dyes to make garments highly visible.  Blending is the secret behind most of the newer popular fabrics.
All materials have other pros and cons not covered above but the end user specifying materials has to consider other issues other than arc rating when choosing materials.  Choose wisely but all of the materials above will help save many lives in the event of an electric arc flash exposure.  If you have a specific need ArcWear offers assistance to end-users in fabric choices based on their needs.  We don’t sell clothing but we work with a lot of those who do and even more end users.

Our newsletter is sponsored by many companies around the world.  If you have ideas for articles or have questions, don’t hesitate to write.

Hugh Hoagland

13113 Eastpoint Park Blvd. Suite E
Louisville, KY 40223
PH: 502-314-7158

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Hugh Hoagland
About author:

Hugh Hoagland is the foremost tester of clothing and PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Read more about Hugh.

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