What is ASTM F2178 – Standard for Arc Rated Eye or Face Protective Products?
ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) developed this F2178 standard in order to evaluate the arc protective value of face and head protective devices. Prior to the issue of this standard in August 2002, there was no standard that addressed the evaluation of a finished product, just the component fabric of a garment (ASTM F1506).
Every manufacturer of hoods and faceshields should conduct testing on the hoods and faceshields they sell. Oberon has conducted complete F2178, testing on its TCG™ Series, LAN™ Series and CAT™ Series, and ARC140™ Series hoods, as well as on its arc flash faceshields.
The importance of this standard is neither the product manufacturer nor the enduser know how the product will perform unless it is actually tested under arc conditions. While the fabric used to construct the hood may be arc-rated and flame resistant, other components may not be.
We have seen competitors’ arc flash hoods burst into flames when tested and require a fire extinguisher to put out the flames even though it was labeled “Meets ASTM F1506.” Furthermore, this testing evaluates the design of the product to ensure it works as well in the real world as it seems to in the theoretical world.
An arc flash personal protective equipment manufacturer is required to provide a report on the F2178 evaluation of its product, if asked by a consumer.