ASTM issues standard for arc protective blanket testing

The new standard test method provides a repeatable evaluation of the effectiveness of arc protective blankets.


ASTM International has issued a standard to determine the effectiveness of arc protective blankets. Arc protective blankets are used to protect workers who are stationed near energized electrical parts by suppressing the combined effect of an arc flash and an arc blast. While these blankets have been used for years, there have been no testing criteria for their evaluation.

The new ASTM F2676 standard was developed by a subcommittee on Wearing Apparel, part of ASTM International Committee F18 on electrical protective equipment for workers.

"Now companies have the ability to evaluate blankets with a repeatable standard that can be done at many test labs using an electric arc and a high speed camera," said Hugh Hoagland, technical consultant and a member of F18. "Research showed the most critical factor was the current in amps and the time exposed." Hoagland also noted that, while ASTM F2676 will initially be used by utility companies, many electricity users in heavy industry will also benefit from being able to reference the new standard.

Subcommittee F18.65 is continuing its research in blanket use and care, and it next plans to investigate how blanket installation affects protection and how to further quantify protection.

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