An arc flash is a complex phenomenon gaining increased understanding and attention in the electrical safety world. Arcs are basically ionized gases caused when electricity travels through air. “arc flash”, “arc blast” and “electric arc” are really all different names for the same basic phenomenon.
Arc Flash Overview
There are three primary issues in electrical arcs from an electrician’s point of view:
- Pressure Wave
- Current Flow
The Four Types of Arc Flash
- Open air arc – The primary, most commonly understood arc used in arc testing
- Arc-in-a-box – Used in one form for arc testing in the EU
- Ejected arc – When arc plasma hits the worker
- A tracking arc – Most common at higher voltages, arc plasma conducts on skin or through clothing
Arc Flash Training is Key
Arc flashes are not the most common killer of electrical workers. Arc flash training must include full electrical safety principles and solid risk analysis.
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