Elliotts’ BlastMat Arc Suppression Blankets
An Arc Flash is an electrical current that is passed through the air when insulation or isolation between electrified conductors is no longer sufficient to withstand the applied voltage. The extremely high temperatures of these arcs, about four times as high as that of the sun’s surface, can set fire to clothing and severely burn human skin in a fraction of a second, and at a significant distance from the event.
In our blog article, All You Need to Know About Arc Flash, we explained some of the common PPE that workers should be using, but now we’d like to introduce a PPE that can prevent workers from Arc Flash burns – The Arc Suppression Blanket.
What is an Arc Suppression Blanket?
An Arc Suppression Blanket, also known as a Blast Suppression Blanket is designed to protect workers from potential arc flashes in situations where energised electrical parts are present. These blankets are able to reduce the danger from both the thermal radiation produced from the arc flash itself and the pressure wave from the arc blast.
How do Arc Suppression Blankets work?
An arc suppression blanket is able to force the flash to travel around the edges of the blanket before it reaches the worker. This allows for greater cooling due to the decrease in temperature as the plasma arc moves further from the fault.
When an Arc Suppression Blanket is installed correctly, it has the ability to redirect most of the arc blast energy to a safe area. To offer the greatest protection, the largest possible Arc Suppression Blankets should be used.
The effectiveness of these blankets relies on three factors: the material used, the construction of the blanket and its installation. Inadequacy in any one of these areas will sacrifice the quality of protection.
What’s Elliotts BlastMat made of?
The BlastMat Arc Suppression Blanket is available in two different constructions:
- Light-Line style blanket of four layers (15KA & 25KA Applications)
- Regular Line style blanket of seven layers (40KA Applications).
The construction is based on outer layers of Aramid blends that manage flame as well as dirt and other surface contamination and inner layers of specifically treated ballistic fabric.
The combination of this Aramid System is quilted together with Aramid thread. The grommets/eyelets are set into reinforced hems to accommodate the rated strapping, and carabineers used to secure the blanket.
Is the BlastMat tested to a standard?
Elliotts’ Arc Suppression Blankets are tested to the US standard – ASTM F2676, Test Method for Determining the Protective Performance of an Arc Protective Blanket for Electric Arc Hazards. The standard provides for three levels of certification – 15KA, 25KA and 40KA.