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EN 407 Explained

Monday, 19 February 2018

If you often need to deal with hot materials or other thermal hazards, you probably know how important it is to use proper protection. There are many different heat-resistant work gloves out there, so if you want to find a suitable pair for your needs, you have to familiarise yourself with the way these gloves are tested and rated.

If you've already heard of EN 407 marking, or if you just want to know how to recognise a good heat-resistant safety glove when you see one, this article is here to guide you through the process of getting the right pair for you. In just a few easy steps, you will learn how to instantly know if a glove that you are looking at can help you stay safe from a particular hazard. 

What is EN 407?

EN 407 is a general European standard designed to be used for any glove that is to be sold as providing protection against thermal hazards. Gloves that have passed at least one of the six tests for thermal hazards will typically be marked with this symbol.

European Standard EN 407 Pictogram

The sign is often accompanied with six digits that show how well your glove did in a particular test. All six tests are graded on a scale from 0 to 4, with 0 signifying that the glove failed the test, and 4 reflecting its maximum resistance in that specific area.

Test Levels
Resistance to Flammability 0 - 4
Contact Heat Resistance 0 - 4
Convective Heat Resistance 0 - 4
Radiant Heat Resistance 0 - 4
Resistance to Small Splashes of Molten Metal 0 - 4
Resistance of Large Splashes of Molten Metal 0 - 4

It is also possible that one or several of these numbers are replaced with an X or N/A, which means that the glove has never been tested for that particular hazard. To obtain an EN 407 rating, the glove must achieve at least Level 1 for abrasion (learn more about abrasion testing with our article on EN 388) and pass at least one of the following tests:

Resistance to Flammability

This test, also known as burning behaviour or burning resistance, is based on the length of time the material continues to burn and glow after the source of ignition is removed. Consult the table below to find out what a specific rating means in terms of after-burn and after-glow times.

After-Burn Time (seconds) After-Glow Time (seconds) Rating
Under 20 seconds Infinity 1
Under 10 seconds Under 120 seconds 2
Under 3 seconds Under 25 seconds 3
Under 2 seconds Under 5 seconds 4

Contact Heat Resistance

Contact heat resistance test is based on the temperature range (100 - 500°C) at which the user will feel pain for at least 15 seconds. When a glove obtains an EN Level 3 in this test, it should record at least EN Level 3 in the flammability test. If this is not the case, the maximum contact heat level is reported as Level 2.

Temperature after 15 Seconds (°C) Rating
100°C 1
250°C 2
350°C 3
500°C 4

Convective Heat Resistance

Convective heat resistance is tested based on the length of time the glove is able to delay the transfer of heat from a flame. A level of performance is only mentioned if a performance Level 3 or 4 is obtained in the flammability test. 

Seconds Rating
Under 4 seconds 1
Under 7 seconds 2
Under 10 seconds 3
Under 18 seconds 4

Radiant Heat Resistance

Radiant heat resistance is measured with the length of time the glove is able to delay the transfer of heat when exposed to a radiant heat source. A level of performance is only mentioned if a performance Level 3 or 4 is obtained in the flammability test.

Seconds Rating
Under 5 seconds 1
Under 30 seconds 2
Under 90 seconds 3
Under 150 seconds 4

Resistance to Small Splashes of Molten Metal

The resistance to small splashed of molten metal is measured with the number of molten metal drops that are required to heat the glove to a given level. A level of performance is only mentioned if a performance Level 3 or 4 is obtained in the flammability test.

Number of Drops Rating
Under 5 1
Under 15 2
Under 25 3
Under 35 4

Resistance of Large Splashes of Molten Metal

This test determines the weight of molten metal that is required to cause smoothing or pinholing across a simulated skin placed directly behind the glove sample. The glove fails the test if metal droplets remain stuck to the glove material or if the specimen ignites.

Grams of Molten Metal Rating
30g 1
60g 2
120g 3
200g 4

Test Your Knowledge of EN 407

Find out if you've learned all you wanted to know about EN 407 Standard with a quick test. Let's look at these Ejendals Tegera 169 Heat Resistant Work Gloves.

Ejendals Tegera 169 Heat Resistant Work Gloves

EN 407 Rating: 41214X

Test Levels
Burning Resistance Level 4
Contact Heat Resistance Level 1
Convective Heat Resistance Level 2
Radiant Heat Resistance Level 1
Resistance to Small Splashes of Molten Metal Level 4
Resistance of Large Splashes of Molten Metal N/A

This is a very common sight you will come across here on WorkGloves.co.uk when searching for heat resistant gloves. It means that these Heat Resistant Work Gloves passed the tests for burning resistance and resistance to small splashes of molten metal with the highest possible mark, and did quite well when testing for contact, convective and radiant heat resistance. They weren't, however, tested for resistance of large splashes of molten metal.

Finding the right pair of safety gloves is crucial when your work includes dealing with sources of heat, hot materials or molten metal. We hope this short article will help you find the right pair for your needs, and if you already know what you are looking for, don't hesitate to check out our range of Heat Resistant Work Gloves.