When you are involved in an arc flash two things occur simultaneously and help prevent damage to your eyes.
- You blink. This happens very quickly. A good example of this at work would be when you accidentally look at the sun. Your first reaction is to immediately close your eyes. The blinding flash of an arc lasts as long as the arc flash is present. This would be about one third of a second for a 12 calorie arc flash and up to 2 seconds for a 100 calories/cm2 arc flash. The human eye response is about 1/10th of a second to blink. Therefore in about 1/10th of a second in all arc flashes the eye blinks to reduce the visible light reaching the eye. While we do not want to overexpose the eye to this visible light there is a natural response and self-limiting mechanism.
- A second protective mechanism occurs in our TCG™ Shields when they are hit with an arc. There are additives in the shields that will carbonize in about 1/10th of a second. This carbonization will reduce all of the electromagnetic spectrum and most of the arc flash visible light. Essentially the front surface looks a lot like asphalt moss once it is hit with an arc flash. Please see the attached picture for reference. The combination of these two things prevents any significant damage to the eyes from occurring.