The PPE Directive 89/686/EEC was replaced in 2018 by the PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425. The new Regulation is a binding legislative act which must be carried out across the EU and affects all PPE importers, manufacturers and resellers. EN Standards are written and created by a committee of health & safety professionals, certification bodies and manufacturers in an open and transparent process.
The EN standard EN388:2016 is the European standard for mechanical protection in gloves. Within the standard there are two methods for testing cut resistance; the blade cut test (or coupe test) which measures cut in levels 1 – 5 and the newly added ISO 13997 TDM test method which measures the newton force of cut resistance in levels A-F.
The ISO 13997 test is more closely aligned to the American ANSI standard which uses the ASTM F1790 test method, and cut resistance is also tested using a TDM machine measuring cut in levels A1 – A9. However, it must be stated that no direct correlation should be made between the two standards and the applicable test for that territory should always be used.
Cut resistance can be measured using two methods. Firstly, the blade cut test (coupe test) which uses a circular blade under a 5N load, which moves in a backward and forward motion over the sample and a ‘cut index ‘ is determined by calculating the number of cycles required to cut through the test sample. Cut levels are rated 1 – 5. This method should only be used for testing low to mid level cut resistance.
For materials providing high level cut resistance the ISO 13997 test method must be used. The ISO 13997:1999 test is carried out on a TDM test device and uses a single straight edge blade drawn across the sample in one direction at a specified speed. Once the blade cuts through the sample the distance of blade travel is recorded. Cut resistance levels are rated by a letter A – F.
This entirely depends on the nature of the task you are performing.
If you are carrying out general handling tasks the risk of cut is likely low and therefore cut level E gloves are not required. If however, you are operating steel presses, handling raw glass or waste materials the risk of cut is very high. It is advisable to contact a Tilsatec representative so they can conduct a hand protection site survey to determine the handling hazards involved and recommend the most suitable level of cut protection.
Whenever you see the RhinoYarn® mark it means a product has been made using our own yarn technology. With this comes the assurance of full quality control, processing traceability and mechanical performance efficiencies built in at every level.
RhinoYarn® technology is an engineered yarn process which combines various technical fibres and materials. Such materials can be used on their own, but when blended together to create a composite yarn, can achieve significantly higher levels of cut protection, without compromising on comfort or dexterity.
Each component is carefully selected to engineer a product which delivers the desired mechanical performance in the most efficient and value driven structure possible.
The gauge number designates the number of stitches (the lines that run up and down, from the fingers to the cuff) per inch of a particular glove. By tradition, the rule is that as the number of stitches per inch increases, the glove’s gauge increases as well. However, as the glove’s gauge increases, the amount of yarn used per square inch actually decreases. This is because the thickness of the yarn decreases as we go down in gauge – which also means that less yarn is needed to cover the area of each square inch of the glove.
The EN standard EN388:2016 includes a puncture resistance test measured in Newtons. However, it is important to understand that the thickness of the probe used in this test method is considerably bigger than a hypodermic needle. ASTM F2878-10 is the hypodermic needle puncture test which uses calibrated 25, 23 or 21 gauge needles using a tensometer to drive the needle through the sample material to more closely simulate real life needle puncture hazards. The Tilsatec mechanical testing laboratory is equipped to perform this test.
Gloves in the Tilsatec range are typically available in sizes 6 – 11 although in some styles this may differ and could be subject to change. To find out what size gloves you require use our handy size guide download in the Resources section
Gloves that have been certified before and after washing will be indicated as such. Many aramid/steel based cut resistant products can be washed at 40 degrees and tumble dried at 60 degrees maximum, however this is guidance only and proper wash testing is advisable if you intend to launder your PPE.
The laboratory is currently able to perform mechanical testing to EN388:2016, ANSI/ISEA 105-16, EN420: 2003 + A1: 2009 and more.
Tilsatec is one of only a small number of testing laboratories in the UK to use a TDM-100 machine to conduct cut resistance testing to ISO13997:2009. You can download the brochure from our Resources section
Tilsatec is based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
Postal address: Tilsatec Limited, Flanshaw Lane, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF2 9ND, England.
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