Understanding Insulating Tools to IEC EN 60900 Standard
Insulated and insulating hand tools are used for live working and work near live parts, with voltage ratings up to 1000V AC and 1500V DC
They shall comply with the international standard IEC EN 60900
They are identified by the mark: 1000V (double triangle) IEC EN 60900 with the name of the manufacturer, the tool reference, and the year of manufacture.
Insulated hand tools are classified into three categories :
INSULATED HAND TOOLS :
Hand tools made of conductive material(s) fully or partially covered by insulating material. Fully insulated tools covered with insulating materials with the exception of conductive parts on the working surface reduce the risk of short-circuiting between two parts at different potentials
INSULATING HAND TOOLS:
Hand tools made totally or essentially from an insulating material(s) except for inserts made from conductive materials used for reinforcement, but with no exposed conductive point.
INSULATING tools can have several working heads.
They protect the user from electric shocks and minimize the risk of short-circuiting between two parts at different potentials
HYBRID HAND TOOLS :
Hand tools made from an insulating material(s) with exposed conductive parts at the working head (e-g: cutting edges) (some non exposed conductive part can be used for reinforcement)
HYBRID tools can have several working heads.
They protect the user against electric shocks and reduce the risk of short-circuiting between two parts at different potentials.
For this category of hand tools, this catalogue uses the term «hybrid» in conformity with the draft of edition 4 of the NF EN IEC 60900 standard
Characteristics of tools using square drives
Tools such as ratchet wrenches, sockets, and extension bar should be assembled using the square drive with a ball and spring device or by a mechanical locking device (socket lock). The insulating coating is applied in such a way that if any part is disassembled during use, no live conductive part can be inadvertently touched. Only tools fitted with a mechanical locking device are identified as being interchangeable between different manufacturers and are marked as such : -
Thermal stability :
Insulated, hybrid and insulating tools are designed to be used between -20° C and + 70° C. (standard)
Regarding use at -40° C, the C mark indicates that the tool has been designed for this purpose. (on request)
Testing program :
Hybrid, insulating, and insulated hand tools shall satisfy the tests of IEC EN 60900 standard :
Dimensional control :
To : check the dimensional specified by the standard.
Impact tests: ambient and cold temperature test after 2hr conditioning at -25°C
To : reproduce the energy of a impact corresponding to the tool falling from a set height.
Dielectric test : after condit 24hr into water (or 48h into climatic chamber 95% RH)
A 10 kv dielectric routine test is performed on 100% of insulated tools.
To : check the dielectric at 10 kV for use at 1000 V ac - 1500 V cc (max)
Test carried out after the shock test (check of leakage current).
Penetration test: after 2hr conditioning at 70°C
To : check the strength of the insulating material in crushing conditions or its penetration.
Adherence test: after 168hr conditioning at 70°C
To : check the adherence of the insulating material on the tool to guard against any risk of separation.
Flame non-propagation test
To : check that the insulating coating does not propagate a flame if exposed to one.
Mechanical tests: mentioned below.
Marking a resistance test
To : check the readability of the marking, despite rubbing.
The standard dielectric test for the insulated tools is carried out on 100% of the tools.
Standard test :
Mechanical Characteristics :
The mechanical specifications of insulated hand tools shall comply with the ISO standard or with the manufacturer’s relevant standard, stating as the case may be dimensions, hardness, torque/flexion/torsion / cutting resistance.
The mechanical specifications of the insulating and hybrid hand tools are defined in standard IEC EN 60900.
Mechanical test examples :
Instructions for use
Instructions for use are provided with hand tools requiring assembly or adjusting.
Insulated, insulating, and hybrid tools do not have expiry dates. The user must visually check tools before use, particularly the condition of the insulating coating. Similarly, an annual visual inspection by a qualified person is recommended.
In the event of doubt, dielectric tests should be performed again. This test can be carried out by our laboratory (please ask)
The insulated hand tools are designed to preserve their insulating characteristics despite the difficult conditions of use inherent with on-site work. However, they should be properly stored and kept clean. The insulating coating can be cleaned with soap and water (rinsing + drying ) whereas the metal parts must be regularly greased.