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 Post subject: Arc flash clothing and UV protection
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:15 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:07 am
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We recently identified that the arc flashing clothing that is rented from a major uniform supplier allowed the wearer to get UV burns while welding so basically a nasty sunburn, this person is a career welder and has never gotten such a burn even when just wearing a cotton t-shirt. Obviously any exposed body part can and will but I would not expect his chest and stomach to get burned while wearing AR2 rated clothing. Am I off base on thinking hey something is amiss here?


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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash clothing and UV protection
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:21 am 
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Location: Rutland, VT
I would contact them and ask for the specific procedure they use to launder arc rated clothing including a list of cleaning agents used. I would compare that with the standard (ASTM?) for laundering arc rated clothing.

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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash clothing and UV protection
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:14 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:07 am
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Thanks WBD, we did contact the manufacture so far just a run around most likely because they don’t know the answers. We ask for testing of material protocols. It is puzzling how a fruit of the loom t-shirt will block UV better than AR2 rated clothing.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash clothing and UV protection
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:59 am 
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You should get a copy of ASTM F1449-20, Standard Guide for Industrial Laundering Care and Maintenance of Flame Resistant or Arc Rated Clothing and review it. You should then ask the laundry company to certify that the arc rated clothing is being laundered in accordance with this standard.

My bet is it is not and all your rental arc rated clothing from this company may be compromised. If they are not doing it to this standard, I would look for another company and put the requirement in the purchase order and have them certify they are following the standard.

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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash clothing and UV protection
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:39 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:07 am
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WBD, is it strange that Arc Rated clothing would pass UV light to the point it would result in a sunburn? the FR treatment I would think has little to do with how much UV the material is allowed to pass, Im finding it difficult to obtain information on if the AR rated clothing blocks UV rays that would also occur during an arc flash event.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash clothing and UV protection
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 4:45 am 
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Not a chemist or clothing expert but is it not in the realm of possibility that the UV could be causing a chemical reaction with the cleaning solvents and what you are seeing is a chemical burn not a UV burn?

Especially when you think of the lineworkers that wear AR clothing and are out in the sun all the time and don't end up with a sunburn. And I am sure there are countless welders that have to wear AR clothing also.

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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash clothing and UV protection
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:15 am 

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WBD thats totally possible, wouldn't that also mean UV exposure to the sun would also cause the chemical reaction?


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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash clothing and UV protection
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:45 am 
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I don't think the UV from natural sunlight is as intense as coming from a welding arc. Plus some is also reflected back from the metal surfaces.

But not an expert on it so this is just my thoughts. I really would get a copy of the ASTM standard, get from the laundry service their procedure and cleaning products used and compare that to what is in the standard. The manufacturer of the AR clothing would probably have a procedure on cleaning the fabric so not as to compromise it so I would get that too.

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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash clothing and UV protection
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:13 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:07 am
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more digging, our uniforms are 70-80% Meta-Aramid (Nomex) DuPont's says proper storage includes protecting it from UV (sunlight), exposure to UV light can along with other factors can mechanically/chemically change the properties resulting in comprising its protective features.


mystery solved


Last edited by wbd on Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
removed link not working


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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash clothing and UV protection
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:23 pm 
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Link not working so I removed it. Please attach the pdf to your post.

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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash clothing and UV protection
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:06 pm 

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starts on page 20 about UV and how Nomex can be compromised, it is possible that Nomex may not be the best choice for everyday wear since the average user wouldn't be able to tell if it is compromised, certainly something to consider when choosing rated clothing for workers.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash clothing and UV protection
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:51 am 
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Shuckerowb wrote:
starts on page 20 about UV and how Nomex can be compromised, it is possible that Nomex may not be the best choice for everyday wear since the average user wouldn't be able to tell if it is compromised, certainly something to consider when choosing rated clothing for workers.


This is part of the reason fire, arc flash, and welding PPE is not interchangeable.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash clothing and UV protection
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:17 am 
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Not what I read.

Quote:
The strength loss that accompanies UV exposure has no effect
on the inherent thermal properties of Nomex®
. Despite strength
loss after UV exposure, the thermal protective performance (TPP
rating) and vertical flammability (char length) of fabrics made of
Nomex®
III remain unaffected (Table II-4).


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