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Why daily clothes cannot be used for protection?

Daily clothes like cotton and cotton nylon blends cannot protect people from electric arc injuries. On the contrary, they will increase the hazard.

The protective clothing made from normal material will be melted or burned when exposed to the heat caused by electric arc explosion. These fabrics will continue to burn even after the electric arc incident, and the injuries may be severer than it caused by the electric arc itself. The heavier the fabric is, the more fuel it provides. Electric arc may end instantly, but daily clothes will continue to burn and even will cause a third-degree burn with just seconds lasting. Besides, those clothes will melt and adhere to skin, which must be erased or even removed by surgery.

Figure1-Survival-Rate-for-different-degrees-of-burn.jpg

Survival Rate for different degrees of burn

The burn degree may increase when wearing flammable garments and exposed to the explosion of electric arc. The surviving rate depends on many factors, including survivor’s age and total burn area. In all age groups, the greater the total burn area is, the lower the chance of survival is. 

Photo Source: Originate from the test report of American Burn Association from 1991 to 1993

In addition, daily clothes are not designed to be anti-burst. The explosive power of electric arc can tear daily clothes made from cotton, cotton nylon blend, etc., and make the body exposed to electric arc directly.

Burn degree caused by arc incident depends on time duration, current, arc length, and even the distance between body and arc, fabric as well as the layer of clothes.

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