Tyndale is known for being a leading provider of arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) clothing. Did you know we also perform live arc flash testing to ensure the FR garments we sell perform as expected under real-world conditions? In today’s FR FAQ, we explore why and how Tyndale creates live arc flash demonstrations.
You may have seen our extensive arc flash testing video library, but did you ever think about how we create these arc flashes, or why we go to such lengths? The “why” is simple. Tyndale invests the time and money to produce and record live arc flashes as a powerful training tool and strong visual reminder of why AR / FR clothing is so important to wear and wear properly. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a video is worth 1,000 pictures.
Join Tyndale’s Vice President of Technical, Scott Margolin, as he walks us through how these live arc flashes are created, and why testing garments in a live environment is critical.
How are the arcs created?
To create live arc flashes, Tyndale uses real electrical components (gear) and real system energy. These tests are hot and dangerous and we take the utmost precautions with our participant’s safety. To create the arc fault, we either put a tool or a wire across all three phases (while completely de-energized). As soon as we “flip the switch” and energize the gear, an arc flash is created.
How is the incident energy controlled?
It’s relatively simple to control the incident energy during these tests. When performing the tests, we limit the cycle time. We can calculate our desired amperage, voltage, arc gap length, and distance to manikin (if a manikin is used). We use cycles to control our incident energy – the higher the cycle time, the higher the incident energy.
By controlling the variables, we achieve an arc flash showing the real effects of these devastating explosions. We test AR / FR clothing, but we also test flammable, non-FR garments, meltable garments, inappropriately worn AR / FR clothing, and many other combinations of PPE. These tests are an astounding way to demonstrate both the hazard and the importance of wearing the appropriate PPE in the event this type of explosion ever occurs near you.
We also perform live flash fire testing. Click here to watch how we perform flash fire testing, at TEEX Brayden Fire Field. These flash fires are a must see!