Protective Clothing against the Thermal Hazards of an Electric Arc

PPE Regulation Type: Category III

PPE certified to this standard is for use where there is a risk of an Electric Arc, most commonly where working with electricity on open equipment or maintenance and switching work. Whilst this traditionally has been regarded as work in dedicated electrical environments, many companies now recognise that this risk can occur in many other industrial environments including general groundworks and industrial maintenance. There are requirements not only in the fabrics used but in the Design and Construction of garments certified to this standard.

About IEC 61482-2: 2009 and IEC 61482-2: 2018

Garments will be available with both of these markings during the transition stage whilst manufacturers update their certifications. This standard specifies requirements and test methods applicable to materials and garments for protective clothing for electrical workers against the thermal hazards of electric arc based on:

  • Relevant general properties of the textiles, tested with selected textile test methods, and
  • Arc thermal resistance properties, such as
  • The arc rating of materials (ATPV or EBT50), when tested with an open electric arc under defined laboratory conditions according to IEC 61482-1-1,


  • The arc protective class or materials and garments (Class 1 or Class 2), when tested with a directed and constrained electric arc under laboratory conditions according to IEC 61482-1-2.

There are two types of test methods for Electric Arc, each providing different results.

IEC61482-1-1 Open Arc Method

This test method gives an Arc Thermal Protective Value (ATPV) rating or Energy Break open Threshold (EBT50) rating. This can be used in conjunction with risk assessments in workplace areas where there could be a potential exposure of an arc flash incident to ensure that an accurate assessment of the required protective clothing is achieved. An ATPV rating is the amount of incident energy that will give a 50% probability of the onset of 2nd-degree burns without the fabric breaking open. An EBT rating is the amount of incident energy that will give a 50% probability of the fabric breaking open.

IEC61482-1-2 Box Test Method

This test method gives a protective classification of:

CLASS 1, 4KA – Lower level of Protection
CLASS 2, 7KA – Higher level of Protection


In May 2019 a new version of IEC 61482-1-1 (2.0) is expected to be published. It will include a new, more conservative type of arc rating for materials called the Incident Energy Limit Value (ELIM). As noted above, the ATPV and EBT ratings are based on a 50% probability of a second degree burn – ELIM is designed to take out the risk of a second-degree burn/injury by helping to calculate a 0% probability whilst helping protect workers safely without increasing other risks and preventing work.

For further details on ELIM, contact our Technical Support team and we will share further details or links with technical advice.