UNI EN ISO 11612
Protective clothing against heat and flame
The UNI EN ISO 11612:2015 standard specifies the performance requirements for garments made of flexible materials designed to protect the operator’s body from enveloping flames and intense radiant heat (approaching and crossing flames) and in specific high-risk firefighting and rescue operations. Head, hand and foot protection are excluded from this standard, except for gaiters, hoods and boot covers.
Additional protection is recommended for these particularly sensitive areas.
The UNI EN ISO 11612:2015 standard proposes three levels of performance:
- Low perceived risk exposure;
- Medium perceived risk exposure;
- High perceived risk exposure.
The protections that these garments must guarantee are of various types:
- Limited flame spread: A1) surface ignition, A2) edge ignition.
- Protection against convective heat (the heat that passes through the garment that comes into contact with the flame). The fabric, being fireproof, will not be damaged, but the body can be injured. B1 – B3.
- Protection against radiant heat. C1 – C3.
- Protection against molten aluminium splashes. D1 – D3.
- Protection against molten iron splashes. The test gives an indication of how much molten metal splashes the fabric can withstand. E1 – E3.
- Protection against contact heat. F1 – F3.
What does 11612 clothing protect against?
Protective clothing certified with UNI EN ISO 11612:2015 is classified as Category III PPE. The risk related to this standard is very high: these garments guarantee protection from extreme exposure to radiant heat (C), molten aluminium splashes (D), molten iron splashes (E) and convective heat (B).
|#||Levels of performance|
|A||Limited flame spread (A1 o A2)|
|B||Resistance to convective heat (performance index 1-3)|
|C||Resistance to radiant heat (performance index 1-4)|
|D||Molten aluminum splash (performance index 1-3)|
|E||Molten iron splash (performance index 1-3)|
|F||Contact heat (performance index 1-3)|
Scope of application
The heat and flame-retardant workwear is used for the most extreme situations by qualified personnel such as firefighters and allows them to work in direct contact with the flame. This type of clothing is also used in jobs such as foundries or metalworking industries, as it is a type of clothing that can withstand temperatures up to 1000°C.
The fields of application and use can be summarized as:
- Maximum protection in situations where enveloping flames are present or when crossing them is required;
- Interventions in specific situations against fire and high-risk rescue.
Fire proximity coverall
Fire proximity coat and trousers
|Aircraft rescue and aerial firefighting|
Flammable liquids and gases
High radiant heat release
Aluminium, automotive, cement, ceramic, metal, glass, iron and steel industries
Foundries and welding operations
General requirements for heat and flame protective clothing
Aluminized heat-resistant protective clothing is generally made of a specific material that has three layers:
- The mirrored outer surface with an aluminized coating reflects 95% of the radiant heat up to bearing the temperature of approximately 1093°C. Heat resistance is guaranteed by the meta-aramid fibre of which the layer is almost completely made up (95%). The remaining 5% is made of para-aramid fibre which enhances the previous one by increasing its mechanical strength (tear resistance);
- The middle layer is made up of one or more layers of soft, light, flame-retardant carbon felt. It can be exposed to heat without undergoing substantial dimensional changes. It withstands direct flames up to temperatures with peaks around 800°C;
- The third, innermost layer is made of viscose, a fabric that is very comfortable when in contact with the body that guarantees heat resistance thanks to the presence of an aramid component.
In combination with aluminized heat resistant clothing, it is crucial to use an undergarment in order to provide additional protection.
Below is a summary chart of the heat-resistant materials that can be aluminized. It is important to specify that leather can only be used for this purpose in gloves.
More on the UNI EN ISO 11612 standard
The standard that regulates the characteristics of aluminized heat-resistant protective clothing, as we have seen, is UNI EN ISO 11612:2015, not to be confused with the UNI EN 1486:2008 standard. The latter covers reflective protective clothing for firefighters.
It is also important to list some of the standards that govern the characteristics of accessories:
- UNI EN ISO 13688:2013: the standard specifies the general performance requirements for ergonomics, safety, size designation, ageing, compatibility and marking of protective clothing and the information that must be provided by the manufacturer with the protective clothing. The standard is provided for being used in conjunction with other norms containing specific performance requirements.
- UNI EN 420:2010: the standard defines the general requirements and corresponding test procedures for the design and manufacture of gloves, the resistance of the glove materials to water penetration, safeness, comfort and efficiency, marking and information provided by the manufacturer that applies to all protective gloves;
- UNI EN 407:2004: the standard specifies requirements, test methods, information to be provided and marking of protective gloves against heat and/or fire, in particular against fire, contact heat, convective heat, radiant heat, small splashes or large projections of molten metal. The standard is applicable only in conjunction with UNI EN 420;
- UNI EN 388:2019: the standard specifies the requirements, test methods, marking and information provided by the manufacturer for protective gloves against mechanical risks from abrasion, blade cut, laceration, perforation and, if applicable, impact. The standard applies together with UNI EN 420;
- UNI EN 166:2004: the standard specifies the functional requirements of the various types of individual eye protectors and contains general considerations such as: designation, classification, basic requirements applicable to all eye protectors, various details and optional requirements, marking, information for users. This standard applies to fire proximity hoods;
- UNI EN 170:2003: the standard specifies the scale numbers and the requirements of the transmission factor for filters to protect from ultraviolet radiation. This standard applies to fire proximity hoods;
- UNI EN 397:2013: the standard specifies the physical and performance requirements, test methods and marking requirements for industrial protective helmets.
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