Understanding EN407:2004

The standard EN407:2004 is designed for gloves which are used to protect against thermal hazards, representing a glove’s thermal performance when working with heat and/or fire.

The standard is broken down into 6 areas (seen to the right), with each element being scored from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 4, depending on the level of protection the glove carries. This is defined by each individual test result.

Gloves which have undergone EN407 tests will bear the fire shield to the right on either the outer of the product or on the label inside. Not all parts of the test must be completed – only those relevant to the product – however, any areas not tested should bare an X as opposed to a number.

Burning Behaviour

Burning behaviour measures the length of time a glove glows or burns after being in contact with a naked flame. This test is measured in seconds, starting from when the glove ignites. If the seams of the glove come apart after the 15 seconds, the glove has failed the test.

See below the brackets for each score – from 1 to 4 – referencing the length of time the glove glows or burns:

  1. Equal to or less than 20 seconds
  2. Equal to or less than 10 seconds
  3. Equal to or less than 3 seconds
  4. Equal to or less than 2 seconds

Contact Heat

This test compares the temperature inside of the glove compared to the outside, when exposed to temperatures between 100oC. This test is measured in oC, and the result is achieved once the inner temperature is 10oC greater than at the beginning of the test. The glove must also withstand the 10oC change (maximum) for a minimum of 15 seconds, or the test is failed. To reach a level of 3 in this test, the glove must also achieve level 3 in burning behaviour – failing that, the maximum achievable would be level 2.

The temperature brackets for this test – from 1 to 4 – are:

  1. 100oC
  2. 250oC
  3. 350oC
  4. 500oC

Convective Heat

This test, calculated in seconds, assesses how long it takes for the inside of the glove to increase by 24oC, using gas lubrication (80kW/m2). To score in this test, the glove must also achieve a minimum of level 3 in the burning behaviour test.

The time brackets for this test – from 1 to 4 – are:

  1. Equal to or more than 4 seconds
  2. Equal to or more than 7 seconds
  3. Equal to or more than 10 seconds
  4. Equal to or more than 18 seconds

Radiant Heat

This test, measured in seconds, assesses how long it takes for the glove to transfer heat when exposed to a radiant heat source. A result for this test can only be drawn if the same product achieves a minimum of level 3 in the burning behaviour test.

The time brackets – from 1 to 4 – are shown below:

  1. Equal to or less than 7 seconds
  2. Equal to or less than 20 seconds
  3. Equal to or less than 50 seconds
  4. Equal to or less than 95 seconds

Small Molten Splash

Here, small drops of molten metal are dropped onto the glove being tested. The test measures the number of drops required to create a temperature increase of 40oC between the glove and simulated skin inside the glove. To score in this test, the glove must have achieved a minum of level 3 under the burning behaviour test.

The brackets for this test – from 1 to 4 – are shown below and are measured in the number of drops.

  1. Equal to or less than 10 drops
  2. Equal to or less than 15 drops
  3. Equal to or less than 25 drops
  4. Equal to or less than 35 drops

Large Molten Splash

The large molten metal test measures to weight (in grams) of molten metal required to damage simulated skin which is placed in the glove. Damage could be defined as smoothing, blistering, or pin-holing. This test is failed if the molten metal cause the glove to ignite.

The brackets for this test – from 1 to 4 – are shown below and are measured in the number of drops.

  1. Equal to or less than 30 grams
  2. Equal to or less than 60 grams
  3. Equal to or less than 120 grams
  4. Equal to or less than 200 grams

Category III Gauntlets

Protective gloves/gauntlets are classified as Category III where the risk associated with the intended use of the product are life-threatening or irreversible. Where gloves obtain a result of Level 2 or above for Radiant Heat and/or Level 1 Large Molten Splash these are classed at Category III Products.

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