The requirements for protective clothing with reflective materials

Protective reflective clothing

Until recently, protective reflective clothing for a certification accords to EN 471: 2001 + A1: 2007 apply. This has now been superseded by the ISO 20,471th a comparison of the two standards makes the changes clear.

In scope of the additional “high risk situations” was recorded – which is particularly relevant for the emergency services. Advanced were mainly the requirements for the design of the clothes. To apply for reflective materials on sleeves new design requirements, while reflective stripes on the waistband of the dungarees were no longer counted for the detection of the total areas of reflective material. Fluorescent background material must enclose in a minimum width of 50 mm torso, sleeves or pant legs; there are allowed on sleeves and pant legs more than two reflective strips.

The requirements of the fluorescent material have also risen. Thus, a minimum tensile strength of 100N is demanded regardless of the weight. The tear strength should be at 20N (25N previously). This figure has emerged from another method, meaning no limit reduced.

Furthermore, the burst strength must be adapted to existing textile standards. The requirements of perspiration were increased. What has not changed is this factor: In single or multilayer clothing constructions of water vapor transmission resistance must not be higher than 5 m²Pa / W. However, is not specified: If the latter is higher, the must be determined and must not be greater than 0.15.

For greater design freedom of passage provides: coverings with different fluorescent background colors can be certified.

Important innovations also affect the maintenance requirements of the protective clothing. Thus the manufacturer should always dictate the care instructions, and the fluorescent materials must be checked after the wash to the color values.

The legislature has thus the requirements for protective clothing with reflective materials increased, which means increased safety for the wearer. Nevertheless, 471 certified protective clothing does not apply to EN by the new ISO of a sudden as potentially unsafe. All certificates before July 2010 continue unlimited validity. Certificates after July 2010 have a validity of five years. The manufacturer of protective clothing in the long term, however, switches to the new ISO to ensure the best possible visibility carriers.

In particular, in the dark retro reflective materials are essential for the safety of rescue service personnel. While around 90 percent of traffic-related information on the day are recorded and registered by the human eye, the visual acuity of the human eye drops at night to about five percent of the daily value. Retro reflective materials enhance the conspicuousness in the dusk and dark.

The principle of retro-reflection functions as follows: The incident light beam is redirected by mirror-coated glass spheres and reflected back toward the light source. The reflective stripes of 3M, for example, are equipped with approximately 30,000 glass beads per square centimeter. These beads directing the incident light to the reflector and then back to the “sender” of the light.

Body Language concept ensures safety in the dark.

However, technology alone is not enough as protection. Also important is the optimal placement of the reflective tape. Studies show that drivers react in a human different from a sign. While they take in a sign the clash sometimes in buying, try a man definitely avoids. Functioning warning clothing should therefore always trace the silhouette of man.

The reflective strips should be placed on the clothing that a 360-degree visibility of the person is given and this is also clearly visible in its typical posture. 3M calls this design concept “Body Language”. The reflective strips can be both sewn and glued.

Reflective strips can support but only protect when they are cleaned properly. The consideration of the care and cleaning cycles is essential, since they affect the life of the reflective material crucial.

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