Differences between EN388:2003 and EN388:2016 safety glove standards
EN388:2003 Protective Gloves Against Mechanical Risks is a globally recognized standard for protective gloves against mechanical risks. AS/NZS 2161.3:2005 mirrors EN 388:2003, which was reaffirmed in Australia in 2016 and remains current in New Zealand.
EN388:2016, released in November 2016, replaced En388:2003 in Europe. Testing for abrasion, tear and puncture resistance is performed as before with some clarifications to the test procedures and materials. Test results correspond on a scale of 0 to 4, the same as the 2003 edition, with 4 being the highest performance level.
The main differences for the 2016 version are regarding cut resistance and impact protection. The new version has two cut resistance methods.
Cut resistance test
1. Existing Method – (Coup Method)
Introduced in 2003, the EN 388 glove standard measures cut resistance on a Coop tester. A piece of dough is placed in a holder and a rotating circular blade is moved back and forth at a constant speed and pressed down with a force of 5 Newtons. As the blade cuts through, a performance rating of 1-5 is calculated from the total distance traveled. Since the blade gradually loses its sharpness, the beginning and end are marked with cotton cloth. Therefore, gloves with high cut resistance may result in less accurate results. This test method is retained in his 2016 edition, but only for materials that do not affect the sharpness of the blade.
2. New method – EN ISO 13997 (TDM method)
TDM stands for tomodynamometer, the instrument used to conduct this test. This test draws a straight blade across the sample in one motion, using a new blade each time. The “length of stroke” before cut-through is recorded for various forces and plotted to predict the force required to cut the glove at 20mm of travel. This power is used to calculate a score from A to F, with F being the highest rating.
Impact verification has been added to EN 388: 2016. The test method is taken from the motorcycle standard EN 13594:2015. Although the area claimed to be tested for impact protection, for technical reasons the area around the finger cannot be tested.
With an impact energy of 5 joules, the force delivered per hit should be no more than 9kN, with an average of no more than 7kN. If the requirements are met, the glove is marked with a P (passed). If you fail, there will be no score.
Glove markings and performance levels
AS/NZS 2161.3:2005, which reflects the EN 388:2003 version, has not been revised to reflect the 2016 version as of this writing. However, Elliott will gradually test cut and impact resistant gloves to these new standards and will post the results on our website.