ASTM F1959

Standard Test Method for Determining Arc Thermal Performance (Value) of Textile Materials for Clothing by Electric Arc and Related Thermal Hazards

ASTM F1959 is the test method used to calculate quantitative results (arc ratings) for FR fabrics. Arc ratings are a measure of thermal protection provided by the fabric in an arc flash.

  • The purpose of this test method is to determine how much heat a certain fabric (or system of fabrics) will block from an electric arc before the onset of second degree burns for the wearer.
  •  The amount of energy blocked by the fabric is reported as Arc Thermal Performance Value (commonly abbreviated as ATPV).  The value is reported as Energy Breakopen Threshold (Ebt) if the fabric breaks open before the onset of second degree burns is reached.
  • Heat Attenuation Factor (the percentage of total heat blocked by the fabric from reaching the sensor) is also determined.
  • Test results from ASTM F1959 must be reported for all garments that meet ASTM F1506 or ASTM F1891.Additionally, ASTM F1959 is used to determine a pass/fail criteria for ASTM F1891.

The standard can be purchased and downloaded from the ASTM website at