EVs and the DC Hazard: Non-AR Hi-Vis Vest & Outerwear in a DC Arc

With the rapid growth of electric vehicles (EVs), and the infrastructure needed to support them, so too grows the importance of understanding the direct current (DC) arc hazard. That’s where Tyndale comes in! This series lays out the differences between the alternating current (AC) arc hazard and its lesser-known DC counterpart and demonstrates – through first-of-its-kind real-world video footage – the power of DC arcs. Follow along to learn more and witness firsthand the life-saving difference the right arc-rated (AR) clothing makes in the face of a DC arc.

Welcome to our BONUS episode of EVs and the DC Hazard with Scott Margolin, Vice President of Technical at Tyndale. Today, we are focusing on the importance of understanding the risks associated with wearing flammable high-visibility (hi-vis) vests and outerwear in the presence of a DC arc. Many people in the EV space need to wear hi-vis vests because they’re around traffic. Let’s see what happens when it’s not arc rated:

The Vest Ignites Almost Instantly

As the DC arc flash occurs, you observe fragments of the vest being expelled from the impact. This ignition then fuels the combustion of the flammable jacket worn underneath. Within seconds, the fire spreads to the jacket, which contains more fuel, resulting in a prolonged and intense blaze.

The video’s overhead view reveals the dangerous situation of a person inadvertently breathing fire, highlighting the severity of the situation.

The presence of abundant fuel intensifies the fire, making it extremely challenging to extinguish. Even with the application of a foam fire extinguisher, the entire extinguisher is required to suppress the flames on the front and back of the garment.

Reignition is Relentless

Despite the extensive use of the extinguisher, certain areas of the clothing remain on fire or glow, posing a threat of reignition whenever there is a gust of wind. Such a situation can result in catastrophic or even fatal body burns, underscoring the critical importance of avoiding flammable materials when facing a DC arc flash hazard.

This video shows why it’s so important to wear arc-rated (AR) clothing and appropriate PPE when there is an arc hazard in your job environment. In fact, in most of the injuries and fatalities we see, the outcomes were preventable – caused by people wearing fuel. This video shows that the DC arc hazard is no exception. Don’t leave home without your last line of defense.


Series: EVs and the DC Hazard

Think you know arc flash? Think again. DC arcs are different. Following along with this series to see how different – and how to stay safe.

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