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Comparison Between EN 1486, NFPA 1971 And GA 634-2015 Standards

Comparison between EN 1486, NFPA 1971 and GA 634-2015 standards

EN 1486, NFPA 1971 and GA 634-2015 standards are the certifications that manage the personal protective equipment (PPE) against high temperatures, radiant heat, metal splashes, etc. Heat protection PPE Industry is composed by two applications:

  • Fire fighting
  • Industrial PPE

There are many risks related to molten metal splashes, radiant heat and flames. That is why PPEs are qualified by standards. There is a classification in function of the gravity of the risk.

In fact, to attribute a standard to a product, a battery of tests is needed in order to prove and warranty its efficiency.

The Firefighter PPE Industry use mainly three major standards. Due to the different requirements of every country, there are some differences between standards. Despite the fact they are used in the same sector, criteria may vary depending on the location.

 

NFPA 1971

 

Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting
and Proximity Fire

Applied in North America & South America area.

 

 

The 3 main tests are:

 

flame

 

Flame Resistance
The flame should not persist for more than 2 seconds, and not extend overs 10 cm.
heat resistance

 

Heat and Thermal Resistance
The fabric should not shrink more than 10% of its original size.
radiant heat resistance

 

Radiant Heat Protective Performance
The fabric should have a RPP level of at least 20, which translates to 20 sec at 1.0 cal/ cm2 per second of heat flux radiant exposure.

 

EN 1486

Protective Clothing for Firefighters

Test methods and requirements for reflective clothing for specialized fire fighting.
Applied in European area.

 

 

The 3 main tests are:

 

flame

 

Flame Propagation
The flame should not go through the fabric and it should not show any visible residual incandescence after 2 seconds.
heat resistance

 

Flame Propagation Heat Resistance
The fabric should not melt, drip, ignite, nor shrink more than 5% of its original size after 5 minutes at 255°C.
radiant heat resistance

 

Radiant Heat
It should take more than 120 seconds for the temperature behind the fabric to raise more than 24°C, under the exposure of 40kW/m² radiant heat source.

 

GA 634

Protective Clothing for Proximity Fire Fighting

Outer layer performance requirement.
Applied in China

 

 

The 3 main tests are:

 

flame

 

Fire Retardant Ability
The size of the damaged area of the fabric should not go over 100cm after a 2sec burning exposure.
heat resistance

 

Thermal Stability Performance
The size of the fabric should not vary more than 10% after being exposed to a 260°C ±5°C environment
radiant heat resistance

 

Radiant Heat Stability
It should take more than 60 seconds for the temperature behind the fabric to raise more than 25°C, under the exposure of 40kW/m² radiant heat source.

 

 

List of the tests for each standard:

EN 1486: Protective Clothing for Fire-Fighters.

It is applied in Europe:

  • Flame Propagation
  • Radiant Heat
  • Convective Heat
  • Contact Heat
  • Heat Resistance
  • Surface wetting
  • Tensile strength
  • Tear strength
  • Shrinking Resistance

NFPA 1971: Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting
and Proximity Fire Fighting.

It is applied in North and South America:

  • Flame Resistance
  • Radiant Protective Performance
  • Heat and Thermal Shrinkage Resistance
  • Water Absorption Resistance
  • Tear Resistance
  • Flex at Low Temperature
  • Liquid Penetration Resistance
  • Adhesion after Wet Flex
  • Wet Flex
  • Thermal Protective Performance (TPP)
  • Water Penetration Resistance
  • Resistance to High Temperature insulation

GA 634-2015: Protective Clothing for Proximity Fire Fighting
(Outer layer performance requirement).

It is applied in China:

  • Fire retardant ability
  • Radiant heat resistance
  • Thermal stability performance
  • Tensile strength
  • Tear strength
  • Peeling strength
  • Anti-hydrostatic performance
  • Bending behavior
  • Overall thermal protective performance
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