Understanding the difference between Bulwark FR vs. AR is key to keeping you and your crew safe on the job. However, you may be tired of navigating the endless sea of standards when selecting the appropriate FR gear for you and your staff. Minnesota Workwear is here to help you sort through the selection of high quality Bulwark workwear and ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the standards and what they mean for you and your crew.
NFPA Introduces “Arc-Rated” Apparel
When the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) introduced us to the term “Arc-Rated” or “AR” in 2012, the question on every safety manager’s mind was: What’s the difference between AR and FR? According to Bulwark’s Technical Training Manager, the most important thing to understand is that all arc-rated clothing is flame resistant, but not all flame resistant clothing is arc-rated.
For a piece of clothing to be classified as flame resistant, the material used to construct the garment must withstand ignition, or rapidly self-extinguish in order to protect the wearer from danger. In the event of a flash fire or arc flash, the FR clothing worn must resist catching fire, melting, and continuing to burn after the initial flash to act as a barrier between the wearer and the danger they face.
Understanding the Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV)
Arc-rated apparel is comprised of fabric that has withstood rigorous testing above and beyond fabric simply labeled “FR.” Primarily, AR clothing is exposed to a series of arc flashes to determine how much energy the fabric is able to block before it would likely cause injury to the wearer. The result of the test, measured in calories of energy, is known as the Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV.)
Understanding the terms AR vs. FR is a critical first step in keeping you and your crew safe on the job. Make MinnesotaWorkwear.com your go to resource for Bulwark Flame Resistant apparel and keep your crew safe when it matters most.