EN 388 Standard Evolution,

ISO 13997 TDM cut test method

What you need to know!

Honeywell is committed to maximum user safety, manufacturing products that combine comfort and ergonomic design with the latest high-performance materials. Our Spectra fibre delivers superior cut resistance for Honeywell’s range of cut-resistant safety gloves, but users and managers must always select the most appropriate glove for a particular task. Therefore understanding the product markings is vital.

Dessin-coupe-test-machine-196Under the EN 388 glove standard, introduced in 2003, cut resistance is measured with a coupe test machine. A section of fabric is placed in a holder and a rotating circular blade is moved back and forth at a constant speed, pressing down with a force of 5 Newtons. When the blade cuts through, a performance rating from 1 to 5 is calculated from the total distance of travel. The blade gradually loses sharpness, so at the start and finish it is calibrated using cotton fabric. Therefore, the result can be less accurate for gloves with a higher cut-resistance.

For gloves, with a 4 or 5 rating, a different type of test based on EN ISO 13997 can give more meaningful results.
dessinISO-machine-196 This test involves a straight blade being drawn across the sample in one movement, with a new blade every time. The ‘stroke length’ before cut-through is recorded for a range of forces and graphs plotted to predict the force required to cut through the glove in 20mm of travel. This force is used to calculate a score from A to F, with F being the highest rating. This test is already used for some specialist products, such as firefighters’ gloves and the results can sometimes disagree with the coupe test, which is likely to disappear from EN388 in years to come.

ISO 13997 cut test marking-230Introducing the new test will change the markings on your safety gloves.
With the old EN388 standard, there are four numbers to express performance – abrasion (1 to 4), cut (1 to 5, the coupe test), tear (1 to 4) and puncture (1 to 4).
In the new EN388 standard the first four numbers remain the same, then in the 5th position will be the ISO test score. If the glove passes an impact protection test, the letter P appears in the 6th position.

Honeywell will, therefore, recertify our entire cut protective glove portfolio and the cut protective gloves from level 3 to 5 will be subjected to the ISO 13997 test. Current products and certificates of conformity will be valid for 2 years after the new standard is published. The quality of your gloves remains the same, it is only the way you select them that changes. The new markings and consistent testing methods will ensure that you can choose your gloves with confidence, and trust in Honeywell’s range of top-performing Spectra fabrics.