INSULATING RUBBER GLOVE DIELECTRIC TEST LABORATORY AND REPLACEMENT SERVICE

What is an insulated rubber glove for live working?

Electrically Insulating Rubber Gloves, also known as Dielectric Gloves are used by workers to protect their hands from electrical contact when performing work on electrical systems.

When working on an energised system or in the event of an electrical system becoming energised, the insulating properties of these rubber gloves must protect them from suffering any harm, hence the importance of verifying that the gloves are free from any damage or material degeneration that could affect their insulating properties.

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO VERIFY THE INTEGRITY OF ELECTRICALLY INSULATING RUBBER GLOVES, OR DIELECTRIC GLOVES?

We fully realise that keeping all their equipment available and in perfect working order is a priority for any company in the industry. That is why we make every effort to carry out rubber glove inspection and testing in the swiftest and most convenient manner for companies, without compromising the exacting standards of quality and reliability of all the tests we carry out.

In addition to rubber glove testing in accordance with the relevant Spanish Standard (UNE-EN 60903-2005), Kolab also offers the possibility of testing gloves under the US standard ASTM F496-20 (which specifies higher test voltages) and the Standard Guide for Visual Inspection of Electrical Protective Rubber Products ASTM1236-19, thus enabling compliance with the recommendations of major manufacturers in the international market, including Salisbury (Honeywell) and Chance (Hubbell Power Systems), whose gloves are highly valued on account of their performance and durability.

In addition to the visual inspection and dielectric test as per EN 60903 or ASTM F1496, we also include prior washing and higienisation of all the rubber gloves we receive for testing, regardless of their condition. Because an insulating rubber glove should not only provide the dielectric strength specified by the applicable standard; it should also be a hygienic piece of equipment, free from any contaminants that could be potential harmful to the wearer or to the glove itself.

 

INSULATING RUBBER GLOVE DIELECTRIC TEST LABORATORY AND REPLACEMENT SERVICE

The applicable standard (UNE- EN 60903) specifies that insulating gloves for live line work must be tested  every six months, while insulating rubber gloves for switching operations (not intended for live working, but as additional protection when performing switching operations) must be tested at least once a year, to ensure that the gloves retain their ability to protect workers from electrical hazards.

DIELECTRIC GLOVE TESTING PROCEDURE

Following their arrival at KOLAB, the gloves are checked and entered into our database, specifying all relevant details (Owner Company, manufacturer, Voltage class …). KOLAB assigns its own serial number (KL number) to each individual glove to ensure its identification. Next, the gloves are washed with mild detergent and dried at a temperature not exceeding 60ºC to prevent any damage. The purpose of this prior washing is to ensure their hygienisation.

After washing and drying, the dielectric gloves undergo visual inspection. They are inflated to 1.5 times their normal size and closely inspected under a bright light to detect any punctures, gouges, abrasions, degradation of the rubber due to chemical agents, cracking caused by ozone/corona effect, etc. If any of these defects are identified, the glove is considered to have failed the test, and this is indicated in the test certificate.

If no such deficiencies are identified, the glove goes on to the dielectric testing stage (except class 0 and class 00 gloves, which only require visual inspection). For the dielectric test, the glove is filled with mains water (conductive, due to the presence of mineral salts), leaving a sufficient length of the cuff above the water level to avoid flashing over. It is then immersed, suspended from a hanger, in a tank filled with mains water (likewise conductive) at ground potential, leaving a sufficient length of the cuff above water to prevent flashover. The hanger, holding the glove by means of insulating pins, has a metal electrode that penetrates the water inside the glove. The electrode is raised to the  test voltage specified by the applicable standard  for the glove’s Voltage Class  (Class 0 provides protection up to 500V, Class 0 up to 1000V = 1kV, Class 1 up to 7.5 kV, Class 2 up to 17 kV, Class 3 up to 26 kV,  and Class 4 up to 36kV). The test voltage is applied for 60 seconds. If it withstands the test voltage without puncturing, the glove will be considered to have passed the test and, after drying, will be stamped with its KL number and the test date.

Kolab issues a test certificate for each batch of gloves received for testing, indicating for each glove the KL number, the client’s own identification number if any, manufacturer, type of glove, voltage class, applicable standard (UNE or ASTM) and test voltage, and the test results (Pass or Fail)

In addition to testing gloves at its own facility, KOLAB offers an on-site testing service, i.e. testing at the client’s own facilities. This service does not include prior washing for hygienisation purposes.

REPLACEMENT OF FAILED INSULATING RUBBER GLOVES (DIELECTRIC GLOVES)

In the event that one or more gloves fail the test, KOLAB offers the possibility of buying new gloves to replace the failed ones.

New dielectric gloves will in most cases be tested prior to dispatch, in order to ensure that they can be used for the full test interval specified by the applicable standard

KOLAB is currently working on obtaining certification by ENAC (Spanish Laboratory Accreditation Body) of its glove testing laboratory

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