The Intensity of Arc Flash

Observe the Power of AC and DC Arc Flash Hazards in Tyndale’s Video Library

Learn, download, and share expert-narrated AC and DC arc flash videos.

This video series showcases a variety of real-world alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) arc flash simulations, where we put arc-rated (AR) and flammable clothing to the test. Explore the differences between AC and DC hazards and learn how to protect yourself effectively. Witness their power and learn how wearing the right AR clothing can save your life. Each brief video offers a comprehensive understanding of these hazards, empowering you to expand your knowledge and absorb crucial information for enhanced safety.

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AC Arc Flash Hazards

AC arcs are electrical discharges that occur when an alternating current flows through a gap or air space. In AC arcs, the direction of the current constantly changes, resulting in the arc repeatedly extinguishing and reigniting during each cycle. AC arcs can occur in various electrical systems and devices that utilize alternating current, such as power distribution networks, household electrical wiring, electrical appliances, and industrial machinery.

NSA DRIFIRE® Dailywear

The PPE does its job, charring instead of burning – and emerges fully intact.

Observer Wearing Non-AR Near Arc

Despite being farther from the arc, the observer’s non-AR clothing ignites – causing catastrophic injuries.

CAT 1 Baselayer

The arc produces a massive fireball, but the garment emerges intact – no fire or breakopen.

CAT 1 Coverall in CAT 2 Arc

Inadequate for the hazard, the AR outer layer is overwhelmed and the cotton base layer ignites.

New CAT 2 Garment

The garment performs admirably, with no fire or significant damage.

Non-AR 100% Cotton Shirt

The front of the garment instantly ignites, and the fire quickly spreads to the back – with catastrophic results.

UltraSoft® AR/FR Coverall After 100 Launderings

The garment performs as designed – and as well as a new garment, with no afterflame or significant damage.

Polyester/Cotton Shirt

Igniting instantly, the flammable garment is consumed within seconds – melting and dripping away.

Very Lightweight CAT 2 Carhartt AR Shirt

Despite its 4.7oz weight and the size of the arc, the garment performs as expected.

ASTM D6413 Rainwear (CAUTION)

Not compliant with the standard specifically for AR rainwear (ASTM F1891), the rainsuit ignites, breaks open, and melts.

ASTM F1891 AR Rainwear

Compliant with the appropriate AR rainwear standard, the rainsuit emerges fully intact.

Non-AR Outerwear Over AR Clothing

Flammable outer layers ignite and cause an aggressive, sustained fire that burns rapidly and is difficult to extinguish.

Meltable Baselayer Under AR Clothing

The flammable underlayer ignites and instantly melts against the wearer, causing significant or fatal injury.

NSA Enespro® 20 Cal Arc Suit

The garment protects the wearer from both the incident energy and molten copper thrown by the arc.

Improper Wear – Shirt Untucked

The untucked shirt allows an arc breach – igniting a cotton underlayer and causing burn injury.

12 Cal Arc Suit

The garment carbonizes instead of burning, fully protecting the worker – even in this arc above its rating.

Versa AR Outerwear

The jacket is engineered to handle large arcs and performs as expected – showing the importance of a quality AR outerlayer.

Cotton Baselayer Ignition

With an untucked, unbuttoned AR outer layer, the manikin experiences a t-shirt fire that causes significant injury.


DC Arc Flash Hazards

DC is different than AC in that it is “on” throughout the arc, while AC current alternates between “on” and “off,” DC arcs are theoretically harder to stop because they don’t drop below the zero point. They also appear to be more “magnetic” (drawn to metal) and perhaps a bit more energetic vs AC arcs of the same input energy. DC arcs can happen in various contexts, including in electric vehicles (EV) manufacturing and EV charging infrastructure, electrical power systems, industrial settings, renewable energy systems, battery systems, and more.

Good and Bad AR Rainwear

ASTM F1891 rainwear performs perfectly, while ASTM D6413 rainwear provides dangerously-insufficient protection.

CAT 3 AR Outerwear Over AR PPE

The PPE works in concert to protect the wearer.

AR Dailywear Contaminated with Flammable Insect Repellent

The flammable contaminant fuels a brief afterflame but AR PPE remains intact and AR base layer protects the wearer from excessive incident energy.

Overwhelming an Arc-Rated FRMC® Shirt

The incident energy exceeds the shirt’s arc rating, causing slight breakopen but no body burn due to an AR base layer.

Tyndale FRMC® Shirt

The shirt is slightly carbonized and covered in molten copper, but the garments do their job and protect the worker.

Non-AR Hi-Vis Vest Outerwear

The vest ignites and jacket is quickly engulfed, resulting in a prolonged and intense blaze with a catastrophic outcome.

NSA Enespro® 40 Cal Suit

A sacrificial outer layer absorbs the energy, protecting the worker and preventing arc breach.

NSA TECGEN® CAT 2 Shirt

The garment shields the wearer, insulating them from the hazard – with 0% body burn.

Cotton Coverall

The arc ignites the coverall quickly, easily, and persistently – with catastrophic consequences.

Tyndale Arc-Rated Outerwear

The windbreaker is an impenetrable barrier against heat and molten copper, even in this high-energy arc.

Arc-Rated Coverall

The garment chars, insulating the wearer – with no afterflame, breakopen, or signs of compromised integrity.

Poly/-Cotton Coverall

The garment instantly ignites and is difficult to extinguish, causing 45-50%+ second-degree and third-degree burns.


Photo Gallery

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