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What is Arc Flash?

 

Arc flash is an electrical explosion due to a fault condition or short circuit when either a phase to ground or phase to phase conductor is connected and current flows through the air.  Arc flashes cause electrical equipment to explode, resulting in an arc-plasma fireball.  Temperatures may exceed 35,000oF.  These high temperatures cause rapid heating of an arc blast.  The arc flash/blast will likely vaporize all solid copper conductors, produces fire, intense light, pressure waves and produces flying shrapnel.

 

When an arc flash happens, it does so without warning and is lightning quick.  The result of this violent event is usually destruction of the equipment involved, fire and severe injury or death to any nearby people.

 

We have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about arc flash.

 

Learn more about arc flash phenomena from:

 

Institute of Electrical  & Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)


 

This test-facility footage shows an arc flash created for NFPA's  video Reducing Workplace Electrical Hazards.