EN388 vs ANSI
A summary of the SAFETY GLOVES standards
EN 388: 2016 is the European Standard governing work gloves that provide hand protection against mechanical risks.
ANSI/ISEA stands for American National Standards Institute / International Safety Equipment Association. This is a US Standard only and not a government regulation, which uses a mix of ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and EN (European Norm) methods.
With the introduction of the TDM cut test to the EN388:2016 revised glove standard, ANSI Vs EN388 have become much closer aligned.
The EN388 glove standard now consists of two cut resistant values, using two different work gloves testing methods. The first is the Coupe Test using a circular blade that moves back and forth under 5N contact force until it cuts through the material. The blade cut resistance is stated on a 0-5 scale based on the number of rotations it takes to cut through the sample, using a standard canvas control material before and after to take the sharpness of the blade into consideration.
However, highly cut resistant materials can dull the blade in the Coup Test and cause inconsistencies. Due to this, EN388 glove standard added a second test required for high cut materials: the ISO 13997 TDM test.
TDM cut test: How it works
This work glove cut test determines the resistance of a safety glove by applying the sample fabric from the palm with great force in a single movement.
To this end, a sharp-edged blade is dragged over the sample fabric once. This allows the accurate calculation of the minimum force required to cut the sample material at a thickness of 20mm.
The test works exactly the same for both safety glove standards but it’s the way they’re measured that differs. While the A1-A9 scale is comparable to the EN388 A-F levels, ANSI/ISEA extends their scale by three levels to 6000 grams to report high cut materials more accurately.