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ASTM F1506, Standard Performance Specification for Flame Resistant and Electric Arc Rated Protective Clothing Worn by Workers Exposed to Flames and Electric Arcs

ASTM F1506 is the standard for workwear for protection against electric arcs. This standard gives guidance on quality assurance testing that is required. ASTM F1506 does not require third party certification.

The testing required for this standard can be broken down into two categories: safety and quality. Testing for relevant safety aspects is clear – flammability and arc testing are two very important elements of this standard.

The flammability test used in ASTM D6413, Standard Test Method of Flame Resistance of Textiles (Vertical Test). As in NFPA 2112, the test is used to ensure that fabrics used in protective clothing will self-extinguish or not ignite when exposed to flames, and will not melt and drip. For ASTM F1506, this test is performed before laundering and after at least 25 cycles of washing and drying.

ASTM F1959, Standard Test Method for Determining the Arc Rating of Materials for Clothing is the most well-known test in this standard. This test exposes panels of fabric to bursts of energy at different levels, and uses sensors protected by the fabric to determine the incident energy at which a burn through the clothing would be predicted. This is done repeatedly to ensure that the arc rating is statistically significant.

Fabric quality testing is also part of the standard and includes breaking and tear strength (or burst strength for knits), colourfastness, and dimensional stability in laundering. These fabric tests can help end users (or, more likely, companies purchasing PPE for their employees) compare between different fabric options and can provide an idea of what the wear life of the garment will likely be. For example, a lightweight fabric with lower breaking strength and tear strength results will likely not last as long as a heavier fabric with higher results for those tests.

This standard is frequently updated. To learn more ask us or find the detailed standard at www.astm.org

Origin Protective’s NPFA 2112 UL-listed fabrics and product styles meet all requirements of ASTM F1506, which means they are considered “dual hazard” fabrics, which protect wearers from both flash fire and electric arc hazards. If you would like more information on this standard, our fabrics or garments, contact our industry experts at info@originprotective.com

Sara Olsen

Origin Protective Technical Manager

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