With our hands being an integral part in many tasks we undertake, it is vitally important to ensure that they have the required level of protection. With many options available on the market, it is easy to become overwhelmed with what type of glove suits what style of task and choosing the wrong style glove can have dangerous consequences. To assist wearers in choosing the correct safety glove for the task at hand, the EN388 standard has been developed which provides a rating on the performance level of the glove based against the following risks:

  • Abrasion
  • Blade Cut
  • Tear
  • Puncture

It is now common for many styles of Cut Resistant Gloves, such as the Arezzo™, Soroca™ and the Mako™ to contain high performance fibres like fiberglass and steel to achieve a higher level of cut protection. Due to this change, the testing of cut resistance was adapted to ensure that the level of cut protection stated is as accurate as possible.

Existing Test Method

Prior to this change in testing methods, safety gloves were testing using the ‘Coup Blade Test’. In this test, a rotating circular blade moves across a sample of the glove fabric with a fixed force of 5 Newtons (N). Testing ends when the blade breaks through the fabric sample and the result is determined by the number of cycles required to cut the sample and by calculating the level of wear and tear on the blade.

New Test Method – EN ISO 13997

Safety gloves with a composition of materials designed to have a blunting effect on blades are now required to undergo additional tests in accordance with EN ISO 13997 (TDM). The objective of this new test is to ascertain the gloves resistance level by applying the sample fabric with an increasing force in a single movement. This is achieved by a sharp blade passing over the sample of 20mm thickness only once. The result displayed in Newtons is then placed on the following scale and the corresponding rating is given:

Source: TraffiGlove

The existing test method gives a representation of cuts caused by sharp and relatively lightweight objects. The new testing of cut resistant gloves provides a new classification of cut protection and provides the wearer with a more accurate rating on cut resistance where they will be subjected to cut hazards of various forces and impact. However, if a sample excels in one test, it is not guaranteed to perform well in the other.

Take a look at the Bastion Cut Resistant Range here.