The need for reflective tapes in critical conditions are these days obvious, and all the standards provide transparency and necessary regulations. There are different standards for virtually any kind of work and situations, and at loxy we put our pride in meeting and exceeding the requirements of all relevant standards.
But just as important as performance requirements, LOXY aims to minimize the impact on our environment. There is no reason not to let personal safety and environmental thinking go hand in hand.
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Explore the relevant standards
EN 343 is a certification standard used to clearly define the requirements and the methods of testing materials as well as the seams of clothing that are designed to protect the wearer from moisture; specifically, protection against rain and snow, mist and ground moisture. This standard is not intended to test the rain proofing of a completed garment, that standard falls under EN 14360. A complete rain proofing test is not part of the EN 343 standard.
Defining the EN343 Certification
Each certification uses a standard picture or pictogram to allow for easy identification on labeling and tech or data sheets. The standard pictogram for EN343 is an umbrella with water droplets placed in proximity to two numbers – the X and Y values. The “X” value of EN343 relates to the waterproofing of the material in question. The “Y” value indicates the permeability of the garment to water vapor in relation to respective breathability.
EN343 – Examining the X Value
The X value, as stated, defines the waterproofing of the material or garment. There are 3 classifications in this regard with 3 being the highest and most waterproof, and 1 being the lowest or least waterproof. To test, pressurized water is applied to the fabric or garment and the respective classification is chosen based on how much water the fabric can tolerate.
EN343 – Examining the Y Value
Breathability is important in fabric and like the X value, the Y value has 3 classifications for breathability. Class 1 is the lowest breathability and class 3 is the highest. Instructions for the fabric or garment often dictate the length of time the article can be worn, and wearing classifications beyond their limits is not recommended.
This is one of the standards that fall within the range of auto-certification. A product or garment manufacturer is permitted to certify their own product line, and no subsequent testing from an outside institute, staff or facility is required. Auto-certification is permitted because the only risk to the wearer of the garment or product is that water would penetrate and they would get wet. Since moisture, in most cases, is not life-threatening, outside testing is not necessary. There are some exceptions however, such as when EN343 is applied in combination with other standards (such as a complete waterproof safety garment). In such cases, outside testing is likely to be assessed by another agency.
It should be noted that fabrics and garments must meet EN 340 requirements. Likewise the tear resistance and seam strength as well as the tensile strength must all be within specified tolerances. Lastly, clothing carrying the EN343 standard must be free of opening that could allow in water during normal use (such as detachable sleeves).