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What is Arc Flash?

An Arc Flash is an energy discharge that forms when a fault occurs in an electrical circuit. The arcing fault results a high level of energy that’s creating an arc blast, vaporize metals in its surroundings and create serious injuries to personnel in its environment. It is NOT SHOCK so it is not necessary to touch live components to leads to arc flash hazards. Arc flash can generates more than 35,000 ° F which is four times the surface temperature of the sun. At this temperature all the know materials are vaporized and air blast that can spread molten metal to great distances with force.

Causes for Arc Flash:

  • Arc flash occurred when coming close to a high-amp source with a conductive object.
  • Electrical Arc flash can be ignites due to dropping of a tool or otherwise creating a spark.
  • Equipment failure due to use of substandard parts, improper installation, or even normal wear and tear.
  • Breaks or gaps in insulation.
  • Dust, corrosion or other impurities on the surface of the conductor.

10 facts about arc flash:

  • Every day 5 to 10 ARC flash hazard occur in USA.
  • As much as 80% of all electrical injuries are burns resulting from an arc-flash and ignition of flammable clothing.
  • More than 2000 people are treated annually in Burn centers, USA with Arc Flash Injuries.
  • Arc flash causes numerous deaths every year in USA but declining in number due to proper safety training, regulation and Personal protective equipments like – arc flash clothing, kits and tools etc.
  • Arc flash can generates more than 35,000 ° F which is four times the surface temperature of the sun.
  • At this temperature all the know materials are vaporized which causes air blast.
  • An arc flash has a serious-injury radius greater than 10 Ft.
  • Arcs spray molten metal at speeds more than 700 mph and the blast shrapnel can penetrate the body.
  • Clothing can ignited at 10 ft away too and which can cause fatal burns. Clothed areas can be burned more several than exposed skin .
  • Arc blast can have very high sound magnitude of + 140dB (as loud as a jet engine) which can result in hearing loss.

How PPE helps?

Proper personal protection equipment (PPE) protects body from burns that could cause death. PPE includes clothing, gloves, tools, face protection & glasses. Clothing and equipments comes in different ATPV.

Who Needs PPE?

Anyone who works with energized circuits of 50 volts or more. For electrical workers, maintenance personnel and others who may work with energize equipment needs protective equipment based on the guideline of NFPA 70E requirement. This is the last chance to protect you against injury in the event there should be an electrical incident.

Basic terms and definitions:

Arc Rating:

Protection value assigned to textile materials based on predicting 2nd degree burn injury based on the Stoll Curve. Arc rating are denoted in Arc Thermal Protection Value (ATPV ).

Arc Flash Hazard:

A dangerous, explosive condition associated with the release of energy caused by an electric arc.

Hazard Risk Category Classification:

Defines typical tasks for electrical workers and assigns Hazard/Risk Category values and the ATPV for each Hazard/Risk Category.

Protective clothing and PPE Matrix:

NFPA 70E defines the PPE requirements for each Hazard/Risk category and also determines when face shields & hoods must be used.

Stoll Curve:

A prediction at which one would expect to receive a second degree burn.

Arc Flash Regulations:

OSHA is citing and fining employers for failure to protect employees from the dangers of arc flash. For guidelines on best practices for protecting employees, OSHA refers employers to the 2012 edition of NFPA 70E standard, "Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace."

The NFPA 70E 2012 edition instructs employers to conduct an arc flash analysis to determine the amount of thermal energy that could be generated in an arc flash incident. The information is then used to define a flash protection boundary around the potential source, and to determine the level of arc-rated apparel and other personal protection equipment required when employees cross the boundary while they work on or near exposed live parts.

Our service & products on Arc Flash Safety:

We provide soft flame resistant clothing and accessories for personal protection that meets or surpasses the OSHA’s requirements and NFPA 70E 2012 standards. As a supplier we select the very best clothing manufactured from the very best fabric to bring to you. Our clothing has been third party tested and we present the tests for you to see.

At Alliance Suppliers our program is to provide PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) as it relates to arc flash protection. In facilities where electrical energy could be a potential hazard to employees and others, it is the responsibility of the employers and safety managers to implement a level of arc protection that will satisfy the needed protection for employees in the event there is an arc incident.

We are suppliers of all categories of arc protection clothing and several related equipment. We offer arc protection/arc flash protection that will protect an employee from head to toe.

Arc Flash Kits - t is required that you know the level of protection you should need for any electrical task that you will have to undertake. We cannot make that decision for you, but by accessing our Arc Flash Calculator and providing the answers to the questions that will be asked you will be provided with your level of protection.

To help our customers with their selection process we have developed several arc flash kits in all categories of clothing at different cal/cm2 rating. For our arc flash kit we start with 8 call/cm2, and follow with 12, 20, 32, 43, 44 and 74 cal/cm2. You may select one or more of the following arc kit, jacket & pants, bib overall, coverall, and coat & leggings. When you make a selection on the type of arc kit you require it will have a face shield with hard hat or an Arc Hood with hard hat and glove kit .

Among our Electrical Safety Equipment are our insulated rubber gloves with leather protectors. The gloves are offered in class which is based on voltage levels. We do recommend the wearing of insulated rubber gloves with leather protectors if an electrically safe working condition is not known or established. Our insulated rubber gloves are not rated for thermal protection they are voltage-rated glove, however when used with leather protectors they do provide significant thermal protection. We do market our insulated rubber glove without the protector gloves; however we encourage users to purchase our glove kit which includes the insulated glove, protector glove and a protective bag. For your body protection we offer Shirts, Pants, Jackets, Coats, Coveralls, Bib Overalls and Undergarments.

Our Accessories are Arc Suppression Blanket, Dielectric/ Switchboard Mats, and Insulated Tools (1000 V).

Our blankets are made from Kevlar –the same Aramid fiber DuPont uses in combat helmets and body armor-and covered with flame- resistant Nomex III to protect the Kevlar from ultraviolet degradation. Our Arc suppression blankets have been successfully tested at 42000 amps of fault current. Our non-conductive or switchboard/dielectric mats are designed to help prevent electric shocks around high voltage electrical equipment such as fuse boxes, and control panels.

We offer the finest made and highest quality of insulated hand tools and linesman tools our tools exceed the requirements of the ASTM F150501, Din EN60900, IEC 900 and/or the VDE 0682/part 201 standard for insulated hand tools.