EN407 Heat Resistant Gloves
When working with or around hot materials or other thermal hazards, it is crucial to use proper protection to lower the risks associated with heat. EN407 is an international standard developed in Europe and is designed to be used for any glove providing protection against thermal hazards (for example, this standard is utilised for welding glove specifications). Heat proof gloves that have passed at least one of the six unique thermal hazard tests will typically be marked with the flame pictogram.
The numbers given next to the pictogram indicate the glove’s performance for each test in the standard. All six tests are graded on a scale from 0 to 4, with 0 representing that the glove failed the test, and 4 signifying maximum resistance. Therefore, to be determined as a high heat resistant glove, high level scores will need to have been achieved in these tests. The sequence of numbers represents the test that was taken.
If one or more of these numbers are replaced with an X or N/A this means that the glove has never been tested against that particular hazard. For a heat protection glove to obtain an EN407 rating, it must achieve at least a level 1 for abrasion and pass at least one of the following tests:
Test 1- Resistance to Flammability (AKA Burning Behaviour or Burning Resistance)
This test assesses how long a glove continues to burn or glow after a flame is removed, determining how fire resistant the gloves are. To test this, a glove is exposed to a flame in a controlled environment. Once the flame has been removed, the afterglow and after-flame times are then recorded and the glove is inspected for any damage. The below table shows what each specific rating means in terms of after-burn and after-glow time.
Test 2- Contact Heat Resistance
This tests thermal resistance by measuring the rate the temperature rises in a glove, determining the level of thermal protection offered. The test is based on a temperature range of 100-500°C. The gloves need to be able to withstand a 10°C maximum increasing temperature for at least 15 seconds to pass the level. When a glove achieves a Level 3 in this test, it should also record at least a Level 3 in the Flammability test (Test 1). If this does not occur, the maximum contact heat level is reported as Level 2.
Test 3- Convective Heat Resistance
This test is similar to the Flammability Test (Test 1), however different surfaces of the glove are tested and the flame is more aggressive. This test exposes the cuff, back and palm of the glove to the flame in a controlled chamber. The goal of this test is to determine the length of time the glove is able to delay the transfer of heat from the flame, or how long it takes to raise the inner temperature of the glove to 24°C. The level of performance is only recorded if the glove achieved a Level 3 or 4 in the Flammability Test (Test 1).
Test 4- Radiant Heat Resistance
This tests the back of the glove to ensure it can resist extreme heat radiating through the material, therefore assessing different heat resistant glove materials. The glove is exposed to a radiant heat source and again, the goal is to measure the length of time the glove is able to delay the transfer of heat from the flame, or how long it takes to raise the inner temperature of the glove to 24°C. The level of performance is only recorded if the glove achieved a Level 3 or 4 in the Flammability Test (Test 1).
Test 5- Resistance to Small Splashes of Molten Metal This test is designed to evaluate the level of hand protection when working with small amounts of molten metal, for example when welding. Two palm and two back of the hand samples of the glove are put in a controlled chamber and are then exposed to small drops of molten metal. The glove’s performance is measured by the number of molten metal drops that are required to heat the glove to 40°C on the opposite side. As with the previous tests, the level of performance is only recorded if the glove achieved a Level 3 or 4 in the Flammability Test (Test 1).
Test 6- Resistance to Large Splashes of Molten Metal
This test uses PVC foil to determine the weight of molten metal that would cause skin to be affected on the inside of a glove. PVC foil is placed underneath the glove, which then has molten metal poured over it. The glove fails the test if the molten metal droplets remain stuck to the glove material or if the glove ignites and or is punctured.
Heat Resistance Glove Material
A variety of materials can be used to make heat resistant gloves, each with different properties which aid insulation or withstand heat and flames. Kevlar is a popular synthetic fibre used to make work gloves due to its strong heat resistant properties, as well as additional cut protection properties. Carbon fibre, terry knit or a combination of all 3 are also commonly used in the manufacturing of heat and flame resistant gloves.
If you are not sure what the best hand gloves for heat protection are for your workplace, contact the ATOM Safety team for expert advice and assistance.