Eaton Corp. has contributed US$500,000 to the Arc Flash Collaborative Research Project organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The company's Platinum level sponsorship will help expand the knowledge of the electric arc flash phenomena and enhance worker safety through advances in the codes and standards relating to safe employee work practices.
Arc flash is an electric current that is passed through air when insulation or isolation between electrified conductors is no longer sufficient to withstand the applied voltage. The flash is immediate, but the results can cause severe injury. Every year, more than 2000 workers are admitted to burn centers for extended injury treatment caused by arc flash.
Eaton offers industry education through presentations at IEEE conferences and electrical safety workshops, arc flash consulting services and arc flash mitigation retrofit services. In addition, Eaton is developing new products to improve arc flash safety such as arc fault detection circuit breakers and arc reduction motor control centers.
The IEEE and the NFPA have joined forces on an initiative to fund and support research and testing to increase the understanding of arc flash. The results of this collaborative project will provide information that will be used to improve electrical safety standards, predict the hazards associated with arching faults and accompanying arc blasts, and provide practical safeguards for employees in the workplace. The multi-year project is estimated to cost a total of $6-$7 million.