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EU Classification of mechanical strength

In Europe, all personal protective equipment (PPE) must be CE marked and in compliance with the PPE Directive 89/686/EED before they can be placed on the market.

mechanical testWelding helmets incorporating protective filters are covered by the standards EN 175, EN 166 and EN 169 (passive filters) or EN 379 (auto-darkening filters). The protective visors are covered by EN 166. In EN 175 and EN 166, the PPE is classified according to its mechanical strength: increased robustness (S) or resistance to high speed particles (F or B).

In EN 166, it is optional to complement the classification for mechanical strength with the letter (T) for extremes of temperatures (-5° C and +55° C). In addition there are classifications regarding field of use: “9” for protection against splashes of molten metals and penetration of  hot solids; “3” for protection against liquids (droplets or splashes); and “8” for protection from electric arcs due to a short circuit in electrical equipment.


Classification of mechanical strength (European Standard):

Class S: Increased robustness (drop ball test 5.1 m/s)

Class F: Resistance to high speed particles at low energy impact (45 m/s)

Class B: Resistance to high speed particles at medium energy impact (120 m/s)

Class T: The letter ‘T’ indicates that the test for resistance to high speed particle was conducted at extremes of temperature (-5⁰C and +55⁰C) – optional.

Note: Products classified in class B are not made to give total protection under all possible circumstances, e.g. when using grinding wheels/grinding machines

For more details on European Standards, or to purchase European Standards, contact your National Standards Institute.

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