If you’re specifying or purchasing arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) rainwear, it’s critical that you know which standards are used to make compliance claims. Tyndale strongly recommends against accepting or purchasing FR rainwear that is only using ASTM D6413, the vertical flame test, to make those claims. Which standards are appropriate?
Let’s hear from Tyndale’s VP of Technical, Scott Margolin, as he provides clarity while sharing some video footage of what happens to garments that claim compliance but don’t meet the appropriate standards when exposed to arc flash and flash fire hazards:
As shown, the answer depends on the type of hazard you’re exposed to on the job.
For Arc Flash Hazards
Look for rainwear compliant with ASTM F1891. As covered in our recent How It’s Tested series, Episode 13, in addition to ASTM D6413, ASTM F1891 is the only appropriate standard for use in specifying AR rainwear because it goes beyond vertical flame to test rainwear in an electrical arc. If you want to learn more about the garment requirements and thermal performance criteria for arc protective rainwear, check out this blog post with more information.
For Flash Fire Hazards
Look for rainwear compliant with ASTM F2733. As covered in our recent How It’s Tested series, Episode 14, ASTM F2733 is the critical test for determining the performance requirements of FR rainwear because it goes beyond vertical flame and tests rainwear in an a flash fire. If you’re interested in learning about the additional key performance requirements of ASTM F2733, check out our blog post detailing this information.
Simply put, if you want your rainwear to protect against the hazard you face, make sure it’s tested in that hazard. While ASTM D6413 is an excellent test for standard textile fabrics, it is not appropriate to be used as the sole qualifier for determining the performance requirements of arc flash or flash fire protective rainwear. Knowing this, you can rest assured you’re getting the protection you need from the hazards you or your workers face on the job.