What Is an Arc Flash?
Arc flash refers to the flash of light and heat that is created when energy is released between a live conductor and another conductor or the ground. This uncontrolled electrical current is typically caused by human error but can also be caused by environmental factors or equipment failures. Common arc flash locations include electrical panels, transformers, motor control centers, and switchboards.
During an arc flash, the energy released, measured in calories, heats the air to extreme temperatures up to 35,000 °F (19,400 °C) – hotter than the sun’s surface! At these temperatures, items within 3 feet such as clothing and skin will catch fire, melt, or vaporize. It is estimated that there are up to 30,000 arc flash incidents each year.
PPE Fabrics for Arc Flash Hazards
One of the critical steps for optimizing safety is to use proper personal protective equipment, or PPE. Norfab, a Davlyn Group company, has a long history in developing high level electric arc fabric ensembles, targeting calorie ratings ranging from 40 to 100 cal and beyond. Our high arc rated fabric ensembles are designed to be lightweight in their classification, with the 40 and 46 cal ensembles occupying the lightest in category distinction.
Norfab currently supports multilayer fabric sales for NFPA 70E 2018 PPE Level 4 ensembles that include 40, 46, 66, and 100 cal rated fabric systems. Many of the systems share a unique woven outer fabric that is an intimate blend of Teijin Twaron®, Kynol®, and OPF fibers. The inner layer closest to the skin, in every case, is a quilted liner fabric composed of a smooth woven meta-aramid fabric quilted with highly engineered nonwoven fabrics designed to meet the calorie requirement of the ensemble.
Have questions about our line of fabrics for arc flash protection? Contact us today and our team would be happy to help you!