Modification to the EN 388 standard for cut protection gloves
Protection classes for cut protection gloves were previously assigned in Europe in accordance with standard EN 388:2003. Due to the continuous development of technical materials – so-called ‘high-performance fibres’ – it has become necessary to adjust the methods used to test and classify cut protective gloves. These changes have been implemented in standard EN 388:2016. In addition to the coup-test in accordance with EN 388:2003 the new test method in accordance to ISO 13997 has been introduced.
Differences between both test methods
Test procedure in accordance with EN 388:2003
Cut resistance test using the coup test.
Rotating circular knife moves back and forth at a constant force (5 newtons) on the test material and rotates counter to the movement.
The index value results from the number of cycles required to the point at which the test piece is cut through, and from the degree of wear of the blade.
Five measurements are performed in this way on each test piece. The average of the five index values confirms the corresponding performance class for the cut protection level of a safety glove.
Test procedure in accordance with EN 388:2016/ISO 13997
Relates to cut protection gloves made from materials that cause the blades to become blunt (i.e. glass and steel fibres).
Additional test procedure in accordance with ISO 13997: Determination of resistance of the glove to cutting by a sharp object through single contact under higher force.
Here, a long, straight blade is drawn once over the test piece. The minimum force required to cut through the test piece after 20 millimetres is determined in the process.
The result is given in newtons (N) and assigned to a cut protection class.
No correlation can be made between the two test procedures and performance rating. The glove still offers the same high level of cut protection in practice; the only change is to the standard-based classification of its performance.
As a leading manufacturer of cut-protection products, we have state-of-theart measurement technology for both standards in our own testing laboratory, and are well placed to address questions on most matters at anytime.