Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Arc Flash Hazards

I'm continually looking for better articles about arc flash that do not duplicate information I have already referenced in this blog. I just ran across a May/June 2003 article published in the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) Magazine. As with most articles it begins with a discussion of the causes of arc flash. But, it takes that discussion to a deeper level than I've seen in other articles. After talking about arc flash in general, it discusses bolted faults vs. arcing faults. It then describes how arc faults can progress to other components as a result of the buildup of ionized material. The article states:

"This causes other phases of the electrical system to become involved in the arcing fault, thus increasing the amount of electrical energy feeding into the fault; and increases the extent of the fault and incident."

The article then goes on to discuss the importance of proper arc flash protection, and it does this based on the thresholds of harm for the human body. For example, it discusses the thresholds for injury from burns and pressure--both of which occur during an arc flash.

It then concludes with an excellent section about ways to prevent arc flash injuries based on information obtained from tests conducted by the IEEE Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee.

This article is one of my top five must read articles.


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