Understanding Arc Injury and Protection Safety Requirements

Arc accidents and arcs refer to the occurrence of voltage breakdown and air discharge, resulting in instantaneous high-temperature sparks, the release of huge energy, serious personnel injuries or equipment damage and other accidents.
The arc is different from the electric shock. The electric shock is the direct contact of the human body with the power supply. The electric current passes through the human body to destroy the human heart, lungs, nervous system, etc., and can also cause skin burns.
• Arc faults may be caused by poor switch fabrication, poor installation, damaged electrical wire insulation, equipment failure, and illegal operation.

Arc hazard
· Causes burns to eyes, face, hands, chest, etc. Severely disabling or even causing death.
• Blindness or blindness in the eyes.
• Hearing loss and toxic gas hazards at high temperatures.
• The release of high-energy arcs can produce explosion shock waves, causing physical loss to the body.
· The NFPA report shows that 5-10 arc accidents occur every day in the United States, and more than 2,000 people are severely burned or died each year. In France’s annual electrical accidents, arc accidents accounted for 77% of which 21% caused permanent disability.

NFPA 70E regulations and requirements for arc safety protection:
Hazard level 0
Requires no droplets, flammable materials (eg cotton, wool, viscose or silk and blended materials, grammage not less than 4.5oz). The arc is equal to 0cal/cm2.
Hazard level 1
Flame-retardant shirts and flame-retardant pants, or flame retardant coveralls. The arc is equivalent to 4-8cal/cm2.
Hazard level 2
Cotton underwear, flame-retardant tops and pants. The arc is equivalent to 8-25cal/cm2.
Hazard level 3
Cotton underwear, flame-retardant tops, trousers or cotton underwear plus two pieces of flame-retardant jumpsuit. Arc equivalent 25-40cal/cm2.
Hazard level 4
Cotton underwear, flame-retardant tops, flame retardant pants, multi-layer arc clothing. The arc equivalent is > 40 cal/cm2.

*cal/cm2 (calorie/cm2) - thermal energy unit.
1cal - The amount of energy that heats 1 gram of water by 1°C.
1cal/cm2—Equivalent to the energy released by putting a finger on the burning cigarette for 1 second, and 1-2cal/cm2 of energy can cause secondary burn.
*Arc Thermal Performance Value Arc Thermal Performance Value - the primary indicator used to characterize the material's ability to protect against arcing. Under normal circumstances, when the arc accident energy is less than this value, the material can effectively block and reduce the energy transmitted to avoid causing the body level 2 and above burns.
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