An arc flash is an electric arc explosion from an arcing fault which produces both radiant and convective heat with the potential to ignite clothing and burn workers.
The purpose of the test is to observe the response characteristics of safety glasses when exposed to an open-air electric arc. Arc flash testing is performed to determine a product or material's response to an electrical arc event by establishing an arc rating.
The most serious injuries typically occur when clothing ignites – arc flash testing is performed to ensure clothing will not ignite when faced with an arc flash.
Matching the PPE to the hazard most often results in no injury to the worker since arc hazard assessment is typically very conservative.
Arc flash testing is relevant for any worker potentially exposed to an electric arc generating a heat flux of >2 CAL/CM2.
Anyone with exposure to electrical hazards must have arc rated PPE available, as mandated by OSHA.
This is what happens when an arc flash occurs:
These Bullhead Safety® Eyewear styles have passed Arc Flash Testing to 25 CAL/CM2 without ignition:
These products have met minimum requirements for Arc Flash Testing and may be suitable for complying to ASTM F1506, NFPA 70E and CSA Z462 workplace electrical safety requirements.