ASTM F18 voted by 92 percent to allow testing of ASTM D120 and ASTM F696 gloves for arc ratings.
While the statement was intended to prevent mandatory testing of these gloves, it had the effect of preventing companies from labeling gloves for legal reasons. A minority on the F18 committee felt either that these gloves weren’t primarily for arc flash and testing was meaningless or that testing could move these gloves toward formulas which were more arc protective but could compromise wear, shock protection or some other characteristic.
Since most of the companies had tested, this line of thinking became moot and the end user’s desire to have ratings overrode the concerns.
This still has to be approved at the Committee on Standards level since there were a few dissenters, but the standard should be available before the end of the year as a new edition and many companies are preparing to test or release results.
There is still no requirement to arc rate these gloves in ASTM D120 or F696, but the opportunity is now there after the committee vote last month. Our experience at ArcWear is that D120 and F696 gloves have tested well up to 20 cal/cm² in most cases. Every formulation, brand and color is different so the new ability to evaluate could be useful for an end user.
Additionally, IEC national committees are moving forward after approval for a similar standard in IEC. This process typically takes two to three years, but the same type of testing will later be an option in the IEC via TC78 WG15.
ASTM F2675 ratings are for arc flash protection only. ONLY ASTM D120 gloves and IEC 60903 gloves provide shock protection.
ArcWear is a leading textile test lab for arc ratings, cut resistance and flame and thermal exposure.