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Protective Clothing – Protection against rain

Overview

EN 343 specifies the requirements and test methods applicable to materials and seams of protective clothing against the influence of precipitation (e.g. rain, snowflakes), fog and ground humidity. 

EN 343 governs all professional work-wear items where water resistance and water vapour resistance are key to the product performance.   These essential properties are tested and marked on the garment label. 

Test requirements and Classes

Water resistance (or ‘water proofness’) of the material of the outer garment layer is determined on new and pre-treated fabric samples and also on seams.  It is measured in accordance with EN 20811 and Classified according to one of the three Classes given in the specification.   Samples are pre-treated by washing (EN ISO 6330: 2012 using the appropriate washing and drying method specified by the client in accordance with the care label instructions, and/or dry cleaning (EN ISO 3175-1:2010), flexing (EN ISO 7854: 1997, method C for 9 000 cycles), abrasion (BS EN 530: 2010 for 1000 cycles using an F2 abradant and a head pressure of 9 kPa), and exposure to fuel and oil (Clause 5.1.3.5 of EN 343).

Water vapour resistance is determined according to EN 31092 on the garment outer shell material and, where applicable, in combination with the liner, thermal liner or lining, and Classified in accordance with EN 343.

Additionally tensile strength (EN ISO 1421: 1998 which has a minimum requirement of 450N per 50mm width) and tear resistance (ISO 4674: 1977 which has a requirement of 25N) of the outer shell, dimensional stability (EN ISO 5077: 2008, with a maximum allowable growth or shrinkage of 3% in each direction) of the component layers and seam strength (EN ISO 13935-2: 2014 which has a minimum requirement of 225N per 50mm width) are determined  and must met the minimum criteria specified in EN 343, ensuring that products reaching the consumer are likely to have the durability required to last for the entire product life.

A garment can be classified as Class 1 without meeting any pre-treatment criteria for waterproofness. However most of the industry demands that a garment have a minimum criteria of Class 2 or 3, proving a garment has longevity after multiple washes, wearer use and exposure to everyday stresses. Coupled with a high demand for a breathable finish to avoid stating wearer times and thus allowing the end user a more comfortable experience, this standard ensures that a garment is likely to afford the end user the desired protection and comfort.

EN 343 is often performed in conjunction with EN ISO 20471 (High visibility clothing – Test Methods and requirements) and EN ISO 13688 (Protective Clothing – General requirements). 

For further information regarding testing to EN 343, please contact Phil Hutchings (+44 (0)161 873 6543, phutchings@bttg-hpm.co.uk) who will be happy to discuss your requirements.

 

If you would like to Certify a garment in accordance with this Performance Standard please contact our Certification Department (+44 (0) 161 876 4211, PPECert@bttg.co.uk ).