ArcWear™ Polartec® FR Hi Vis Fleece Data

Electric Arc Resistance

ASTM F1506 Standard Performance Specification for Flame Resistant and Arc Rated Textile Material for Wearing Apparel for Use by Electrical Workers Exposed to Momentary Electric Arc and Related Thermal Hazards


This performance specification covers the design characteristics and associated test methods that relate specifically to the flame resistance of textile materials used in the fabrication of basic protection level occupational apparel worn by electrical workers who are exposed to momentary electric arc and related thermal hazards, such as exposure to open flame and radiant heat. When evaluated in accordance with the test procedures enlisted within the standard, knit fabrics and woven fabrics of different fabric weights shall conform to individually specified values of the following properties: colourfastness, such as laundering shade change, dry-cleaning shade change and dimensional change; initial flammability characteristics and flammability characteristics after 25 washes/dry-cleaning, such as char length, afterglow and afterflame time; and arc test rating. Knit fabrics shall additionally be tested and adhere accordingly to bursting strength characteristics. Conversely, woven fabrics shall also be tested and adhere accordingly to breaking load, tear resistance and seam slippage.

Key Definitions

  • Arc Rating: a term used to indicate the protection level of a garment.

  • Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV): the incident energy on a material that results in sufficient heat transfer through the material for a 50% probability of the onset of a second-degree burn injury.

  • Calorie: is the energy required to raise one gram of water one degree C.

  • Energy Break-open Threshold (Ebt): the amount of energy needed to cause the material to break-open. The arc rating of a fabric is equal to its ATPV or its Ebt (in cases where the Ebt is lower than the ATPV or no ATPV can be determined).

  • Heat Attenuation Factor: the percent of arc flash heat energy blocked by the material.

Performance Requirements

This specification provides performance requirements for clothing worn by electric utility workers and other personnel working around energised parts. In addition to non-thermal requirements, the standard requires the fabric to be flame resistant. Flame resistance here is measured using ASTM D6413 Vertical Flame Test (maximum 2.0 seconds afterflame and 6.0 inch char length). The arc rating is either the Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV) or Energy Break-open Value (Ebt) as measured by the ASTM F1959-06ae1 Arc Thermal Performance Test. This test meets all requirements for flammability resistance as required by the NFPA and ASTM.

The standard has a general requirement that thread, findings and closures do not contribute to the wearer's injuries in an electric arc exposure. Knit or woven fabrics may not melt and drip or have more than 2.0 seconds afterflame or 6.0 inches char length. Arc ratings must appear on garment labels.

ASTM D6413/D6413M-15 Standard Test Method for Flame Resistance of Textiles (Vertical Test)

When testing for flame resistance, the most commonly used test measure is FTM 5903.1 of US Federal Test Standard 191A. FTSM 5903.1 does not establish a standard - it only establishes a test method with a no pass/fail criteria.

The ASTM equivalent of this test is D6413.

  • This test method determines the response of textiles to a standard ignition source, deriving measurement values for afterflame time, afterglow time and char length.

  • The vertical flame resistance, as determined by this test method, only relates to a specified flame exposure and application time.

  • This test method maintains the specimen fabric in a static, draft-free vertical position and does not involve movement except that resulting from the exposure.

  • This standard must be used to measure and describe the response of materials, products or assemblies to heat and flame under controlled laboratory conditions and shall not be used to describe or appraise the fire hazard or fire risk of materials, products or assemblies under actual fire conditions.

  • In testing flammability, a piece of fabric is held to a burner for 12.0 seconds and examined for char length and afterflame. The amount of char and duration of flame after the fabric is removed from the burner determine whether or not the fabric is FR compliant to a particular standard. Different standards have different requirements.

Arc Rating

All electric arc flash protection fabrics must be tested to determine the arc rating, as required by ASTM F1506, NFPA 70E, NEC and OSHA 1910.269. The test to determine a fabric's arc rating is ASTM F1959, where a piece of fabric is exposed to an arc flash while sensors determine how it performed. The tested fabric has either an Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV) or Energy Break-open Threshold (Ebt).

ASTM F1959/F1959M-14 Standard Test Method for Determining the Arc Rating of Materials for Clothing

  • This test method is used to measure the arc rating or Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV) of materials intended for use as flame resistant clothing for workers exposed to electric arcs that would generate heat flux rates from 84 to 25 120 kW/m2 (2 to 600 cal/cm2).

  • This test method determines the response of textiles to a standard ignition source, deriving measurement values for afterflame time, afterglow and char length.

  • This test method measures the arc rating of materials which meet the following requirements: less than 150mm (6 inches) char length and less than 2 seconds afterflame when tested in accordance with Test Method ASTM D6413.

  • It is not the intent of this test method to evaluate non-flame resistant materials except where used as under layers in multiple-layer systems.

  • The materials used in this test method are in the form of flat specimens.


  • NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplace, includes codes, standards and recommended practices and guides for safe work practices.

  • Covers protection to workers from electrical hazards associated with installation, maintenance or repair of electrical systems. This standard excludes the transmission and distribution of electric power by utility companies.

  • Requires a work place to conduct a hazard assessment and provide equipment (PPE) based on that assessment. Hazard risk categories have been established to help employers select the proper PPE.


NFPA 70E Hazard Risk Category (HRC) Classification Table

Hazard Risk Category


Minimum Arc Rating


HRC Clothing Systems

Required FR Work Wear and PPE




Non-melting Clothing



FR Shirt and FR Trousers (or FR Coveralls) and PPE



FR Shirt and FR Trousers (or FR Coveralls), Cotton Underwear and PPE



FR Shirt and FR Trousers, FR Coveralls (in addition to FR Shirt and FR Trousers), Cotton Underwear and PPE



FR Shirt and FR Trousers, FR Coveralls (in addition to FR Shirt and FR Trousers), Cotton Underwear, Full Coverage Arc Flash Suit¹ and PPE


¹Arc flash suits cover the entire body and are of heavier weight (gsm/oz) than normal FR work wear. This type of PPE usually comprises an arc flash coat and bib overall combination, arc flash hood, hard hat and safety glasses. Full coverage arc flash suits have arc ratings of between 8 cal/cm2 and 100 cal/cm2, with the overall arc rating determined by the uniform arc rating of the individual components. Insulating rubber gloves, rubber sleeves, leather glove protectors and dielectric footwear also constitute PPE however arc ratings for these items are usually determined from other data, such as the class and maximum use voltage of the insulating rubber. Although not considered PPE, rubber blankets, plastic cover-ups and insulated tools have many similarities and their use helps to enhance arc flash protection.

ArcWear™ Polartec® FR Hi Vis Protective Outerwear Fleece




Fabric Blend

Modacrylic (67%), Rayon (29%) and Spandex (4%)

Finished Weight


Seam Construction



Fluorescent Lime Yellow or Bright Orange 

Reflective Trim

3M™ 9720 Scotchlite™  Reflective Material

Electric Arc

ASTM F1959


ATPV (Ebt)  9.1 cal/cm2: HAF 85.0%

Electric Arc NFPA 70E

ASTM F1506


Fluorescent Lime Yellow HRC 2; Bright Orange HRC 2

Flash Fire NFPA 2112

ASTM F1930 



Flame Resistance

ASTM D6413

NFPA 1975, NFPA 1977
ISO 14116, ISO 11612

High Visibility

ANSI 107

Fluorescent Lime Yellow ANSI 107-2012 Class 3 Level 2 compliant
3M Scotchlite™ reflective material CSA Standard Z96-09 Class 3 Level [FR])


Flash Fire Resistance

NFPA 2112 Standard on Flame Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire, and

NFPA 2113 Standard for Selection, Care, Use and Maintenance of Garments Used for Protection Against Flash Fire. This standard requires that garments be certified NFPA 2112.


Body area burn injury is a key predictor of victim survival from a flash fire incident and the protective performance of flame resistant clothing systems over a range of flash fire exposure levels can be used to match protective clothing systems to identified flash fire hazards. Body burn injury detailed in NFPA 2112 and determined by standard test method ASTM F1930, stipulates that for a garment to comply with NFPA 2112, it must exhibit 50% or less total predicted body burn injury for a 2.0 cal/cm2 heat flux at intervals of 3.0 seconds. These standards specify design, performance, certification requirements and applicable test methods for flame resistant garments for use in areas at risk from flash fires. Third party certification is required.

Key Definitions

  • Certification Organisation: an independent, third party organisation that determines product compliance with the requirements of these standards with a labelling/listing/follow-up program.

  • Flame Resistance: the property of a material whereby combustion is prevented, terminated or inhibited following the application of a flaming or non-flaming source of ignition, with or without subsequent removal of the ignition source.

  • Flash Fire: a fire that spreads rapidly through a diffuse fuel such as, dust, gas or the vapours of an ignitable liquid, without the production of damaging pressure.

  • Thermal Protective Performance (TPP): a term used to indicate the relative protection level of a garment. 

Performance Requirements

  • NFPA 2112 test exposure is set at 3.0 seconds.

  • NFPA 2112 sets a flame resistant requirement of less than or equal to 4.0 inches of char length damage.

  • NFPA 2112 sets failure above 50% of total predicted body burn. For a garment to pass NFPA 2112 testing it must exhibit 50% or less total predicted body burn using a standardised burn injury model.

  • Under NFPA 2112 all flame resistant clothing must not melt, drip or exhibit afterflame burning.

The NFPA 2112 standard requires FR fabrics to pass a comprehensive number of thermal tests including the following:

  • ASTM D6413 - Vertical Flammability Test - maximum 2.0 seconds afterflame and 4.0 inch char length.

  • ASTM F1930 - Thermal Mannequin Test - maximum predicted body burn after 3.0 second thermal pressure.

  • ASTM F2700 - Heat Transfer Performance (HTP) Test - minimum HTP of 6.0 cal/cm2 spaced and 3.0 cal/cm2 contact.

  • Thermal Shrinkage Test - fabric must not shrink more than 10% after 5.0 minutes in a 260° C (500° F) oven.

  • Thermal Stability Test - fabric must not melt or drip, separate or ignite after 2.0 minutes in a 260° C (500° F) oven.

ASTM D6413/D6413M-15 Standard Test Method for Flame Resistance of Textiles (Vertical Test)

Refer Electric Arc Resistance section above.

ASTM F1930 Standard Test Method for Evaluation of Flame Resistant Clothing for Protection Against Flash Fire Simulations Using an Instrumented Mannequin


This test method covers quantitative measurements and subjective observations that characterise the performance of single layer garments or protective clothing ensembles in a simulated flash fire environment having controlled heat flux, flame distribution and duration. This test method is extremely complex and requires a high degree of technical expertise in both the test setup and operation. 

Key Definitions

  • Instrumented Mannequin: a model representing an adult-size human and fitted with sensors on the surface for use in testing.

  • Burn Injury: burn damage that occurs at various levels of depth within human tissue. Burn injury in human tissue occurs when the tissue is heated and kept at an elevated temperature for a critical period of time.

  • Predicted Total Area of Burn Injury: in the flash fire testing of clothing, the sum of areas represented by the sensors that calculate at least a second-degree burn.

  • Second-degree Burn: the irreversible burn injury at the epidermis/dermis interface in human tissue.

  • Third-degree Burn: the irreversible burn injury at the dermis/subcutaneous interface in human tissue.

  • Thermal Protection: the property that characterises the overall performance of a garment or protective clothing ensemble relative to how it prevents the transfer of heat that is sufficient enough to cause burn injury.

Performance Requirements

Body burn injury detailed in NFPA 2112 and determined by standard test method ASTM F1930, stipulates that for a garment to comply with NFPA 2112, it must exhibit 50% or less total predicted body burn injury for a 2.0 cal/cm2 heat flux at intervals of 3.0 seconds. Garments are tested after one laundering or dry cleaning and can only pass or fail. Fabric of differing blends and weights might comply with the standard but they can do so with very different numbers. A fabric can comply at 49% body burn or at 1% body burn, which is an enormous difference. It is critically important that when you are evaluating flame resistant fabrics for potential use in your program that you do not consider anything that does not pass the standard.

ASTM F2700 Heat Transfer Performance (HTP) Test

This test exposes fabric to a combination of radiant and conductive heat to test how much heat transfers through the fabric over time. Understanding how long a garment can withstand high heat exposure is important to understanding what hazards it can protect against. 

Heat Resistance and Thermal Shrinkage Test

Some standards also require fabrics to be tested for heat and thermal shrinkage. This is often referred to as the oven test. The fabric sample is placed in an oven at 260° C (500° F) for typically 5.0 minutes and it must not ignite, melt and drip, separate and shrink more than 10%.

Flame Resistance (in summary)

  • ASTM D6413 – Standard Test Method for Flame Resistance of Textiles (Vertical Test).

  • ASTM F1930 - Standard Test Method for Evaluation of Flame Resistant Clothing for Protection Against Flash Fire Simulations Using an Instrumented Mannequin.

  • NFPA 1975 – Standard on Station/Work Uniforms for Emergency Services.
  • NFPA 1977 - Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Fire Fighting.
  • ISO 14116 (EN 533) - Protective Clothing Against Limited Flame Spread Materials.
  • ISO 11612 A1, B1 and C1 Certified (EN 531) – Protective Clothing to Protect Against Heat and Flame.

The ArcWear™ Polartec® FR Wicking Process

The ArcWear™ Polartec® FR Wicking Process