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Comfortable arc flash protective clothing

14 April 2010

J & K Ross and DuPont Personal Protection have developed Arcban, a range of CE certified arc flash protective garments that are made from Nomex. Following a comprehensive risk assessment study and implementation of risk control measures, if it has still been decided that personal protective equipment (PPE) shall also be worn, the correct level of arc flash protective clothing shall be provided.

Comfortable arc flash protective clothing
Comfortable arc flash protective clothing

The Arcban range of garments has been designed to be layered to offer the relevant level of protection when required and ensure that the worker is not restricted or compromised from cumbersome clothing.

J & K Ross and DuPont recommend that all the layers including undergarments are made of Nomex which is an inherently flame resistant meta-aramid fibre that does not melt, drip or support combustion in the air. The thermal behaviour of Nomex is due to its molecular structure and not by applying a flame retardant chemical substance to the fabric, yarn, fibre or polymer. This means that Nomex offers permanent protection that cannot be washed or worn away. The Arcban range offers head to toe solutions providing various levels of electric arc protection and includes undergarments and specialised workwear along with head and face protection that can be worn with appropriate face visors and helmets. Flame r resistant (FR) clothing can be rated based on its Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV) in cal/cm2. To properly protect a worker, the ATPV rating of the FR clothing must exceed the calculated prospective incident energy caused by an electric arc flash event onto the worker at a given location. Layering the garments can help to increase the ATPV levels due to the air gaps in between the garment layers. It can also help with matching the hazard and risk with the appropriately designed PPE resulting in the wearer having more fit for purpose and comfortable solutions for the required hazardous environment. For example, you might choose to use the Arcban polo shirt and trousers as standard, everyday FR workwear because it is practical and comfortable to wear and when in a higher risk environment, layer up with a coverall resulting in the combination of these two layers providing higher ATPV values. To attempt to achieve this combined result with a single layer fabric solution may result in the clothing being very heavy and uncomfortable to wear for a full shift.

All the garments are CE certified and allow the user to select the correct level of protection for their risk, avoiding heavy and uncomfortable protection.

Chris Ross, managing director of J & K Ross said: "We saw the need for protective garments to be comfortable and wearable whilst still offering sufficient levels of protection against arc flashes so we developed a range that was designed for layering. Nomex is an established product and recognised worldwide for its flame resistant and antistatic properties, therefore it was essential to work with DuPont to develop this arc range and manufacture garments from Nomex. The garments are also durable and easy to care for and maintain."

Elaina Harvey, UK Nomex account manager, DuPont Personal Protection said: "PPE should always be identified as a last resort in protecting individuals from the thermal effects of an arc flash. However if after all other steps have been taken to eliminate, reduce and control the risk and PPE is still required, the layering principle developed by J & K Ross and incorporating Nomex is a great way for workers to stay protected whilst wearing lightweight comfortable garments. J & K Ross has extensive understanding of customers' needs and can provide a flexible and fast turn round on orders. We are delighted to be partnering with them on this project."

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