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EN 13594: 2015
Protective gloves for motorcycle riders.

Motorcyclists’ gloves are intended to give protection against ambient conditions without unduly reducing the user’s dexterity in operating the controls and switches. In addition, the gloves are intended to give mechanical protection to the hands and wrists in accidents. Impacts with the motorcycle, conflicting vehicles, road furniture, and/or the road surface are particular hazards common to motorcycle accidents.

Two performance levels are specified for gloves – level 1 for gloves designed to give protection while having low ergonomic penalties, and level 2 for gloves providing greater protection than level 1. There may however, be weight and restriction penalties included with level 2 protection.

Innocuousness

Tests are conducted to determine if the materials used to construct the glove are ‘innocuous’ – that is, whether or not they contain restricted or harmful substances. These tests include measuring the pH value of all materials, checking for the presence of azo colourants in dyed textiles and leathers, determining if pentachlorophenol (PCP) is present in natural textiles and leathers, and identifying if leathers contain chromium VI. Nickel testing is required to be carried out on any metallic components and, similarly, an evaluation for the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is to be conducted on plastic and rubber components that will be in contact with the skin.

Ergonomic requirements

To ensure that the gloves are ergonomically friendly, an assessor must be able to carry out all defined movements without any significant problem or hazard being encountered.

Sizing and cuff length

Motorcyclists’ gloves need to comply with the sizing system as defined in EN 420 or another suitable sizing system as described in the user’s information. When worn by an assessor with an appropriate hand size, the cuff length measured from the wrist line of the assessor is to be at least 5mm for level 1 gloves or at least 50mm for level 2 gloves.

Restraint

An adjustable restraint system must be incorporated into the wrist or cuff. Test cones are inserted into two gloves of different sizes and the gloves are tightened using the restraint present on the wrist or cuff as it would be on a hand. With the fingers of the glove clamped in a jaw, the cone is then pulled up and should not be extracted until a force of 25N is applied in the case of level 1 gloves and a force of 50N for level 2 gloves.

Tear strength

Three test pieces of each type of material forming the protective layer are tested in accordance with the relevant method of EN 388. The lowest result obtained on a single test piece must comply with the applicable performance requirements.

Seam strength

Each type of seam or joint forming the protective layer must be tested. Three individual test pieces of each seam or joint are assessed and the mean value must meet the requirements for various locations on the glove. When the material on one or both sides of the seam includes more than one layer (for example, cover material and liner), that composition is to be maintained in the test piece and those layers will be tested together.

Cut resistance

All layers are tested together in accordance with the relevant method of EN 388. Level 1 gloves only require cut resistance testing on palm materials, whereas level 2 gloves require cut resistance to be carried out on all materials present, excluding fourchette material.

Impact abrasion resistance

Four different sized gloves are tested within the palm area (including any lining). This is to be carried out after washing or cleaning cycles if applicable. The impact area is measured from various points while being donned by the correct sized wearer. The glove is then abraded using the Cambridge abrasion machine fitted with a P120 grit paper belt.

Impact protection of the knuckles

While impact protection is an optional feature for level 1 gloves, it is a mandatory requirement within level 2 gloves and all other gloves designed and constructed to attenuate impact energy in the knuckle area. One impact is carried out on each of the four knuckles, with four different sized gloves being used.