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Feature report 2007 | Introduction on the Requirements and Test Methods For Protectors of Roller Sport equipment

 

Introduction on the Requirements and Test Methods For Protectors of Roller Sport equipment

 


The European standard EN 14120 defines roller skate, inline skate and skateboard as roller sport equipments, and they shall have freely turning wheels and are not motor driven. The protectors of roller sport equipments are categorized as personal protective equipment (PPE) and they should follow the requirements of directive 89/686/EEC, 96/58/EC. According to the PPE directives, the corresponding harmonized standard should be EN 14120 (the latest version was published in 2003).
The harmonized standard EN 14120 does not applied to protectors of roller sport hockey. The protectors of roller sport equipments are intended to protect the wrist, palm, knee and elbow of roller sport equipment users. It should be noted that the roller sport equipments include roller sport for pastimes and competitions. The users of protectors range from small children to adults.

Requirements of performance level and range of body mass

There are two performance levels for protectors of roller sport equipments : level 1 protectors intend to be suitable for normal roller sports; level 2 protectors intend to be suitable for acrobatic roller sports. For various users body mass, protectors of roller sport equipments are divided into three ranges : range A is suitable for users of up to 25 kg body mass; range B is suitable for users of body mass more than 25 kg to 50 kg; range C is suitable for users of body mass above 50 kg. For combined protectors (such as palm and wrist protectors), they should meet the requirements for each type of protector. The performance level and body mass for intended users shall be marked on the protectors durably and clearly. (the protectors for roller sport equipments referred to as protectors hereinafter)

 

Preparation and general requirements before testing

New protectors shall be used in the tests of this standard.
Condition the test samples for at least 24 hours at an atmosphere with a temperature of 20±2°C and relative humidity of 65±5%. Tests shall be carried out in the conditioning environment or within 10 minutes of removal from the conditioning environment.
Two pairs of protectors of each size manufactured shall be provided for testing. Where only one size of protector is manufactured, 4 pairs of that protectors shall be provided for testing.
Manufacturers shall provide the necessary information of test samples.
If no other specified, measuring instruments shall be accurate to ±2%.
For force measurements and length measurements, the values of uncertainty of measurements will be usually between 2% to 5%.

Users and manufacturers shall be aware that, the main threat to most roller sport equipment users is an impact with the surface and with the obstacles which may cause physical injuries. Wrist, palm, knee and elbow protectors for users of roller sport equipments are intended to protected the wearers against abrasion, bruises and fractures. And protectors will not necessarily prevent all injuries in roller sport accidents. Then we shall introduce those requirement and testing in the harmonized standard EN 14120.


Requirements and testing of ergonomics

Protectors shall be designed and manufactured that in the foreseeable conditions of use for which they are intended the user can perform the roller sports normally and unhindered while enjoying protection at the specified limit. This requirement restricts roller sports to a certain limitation of usage and protectors will not necessarily prevent all injuries in roller sports accidents.

Requirements and testing of innocuousness
Protectors shall not be hard or sharp edges, seams, buckles or other items on the surfaces of products that could harm the users or others during normal use. The manufacturer shall list in the information supplied with protectors that the main composition of the protectors and shall label any protector containing substances or preparations generally known to be hazardous. Information on the classification and identification of harmful substances can be found in the directive 67/548/EEC (the requirement for classification, packaging, labeling of dangerous substances) and 76/769/EEC (the requirement for restriction on the use of dangerous substances) and its amendments. These materials include toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, allergenic or other harmful materials.
The following types of document can be presented as evidence that the products is innocuous, such as manufacturer's technical file, materials specifications from the material producers and certificates of conformity, safety data sheets relating to materials, certificates or reports relating to the suitability of the materials for use with food, in medical devices or other relevant application, certificates or reports relating to toxicological, allergenic, carcinogenic, or mutagenic investigations on the materials, other documents submitted by the manufacturer. These documents or certificates or reports shall be examined and shall determine whether the claim that the materials are suitable for use in the protectors is justified.
To make sure that materials in protectors meet the requirements for innocuousness in European directives, the following possible specific innocuousness testing can be relevant.
The chromium VI content of leather should comply with the requirement in EN 420. For all metallic materials which could come into contact with skin should have an emission of nickel of less than 0.5μg/cm2 per week. The test method to be used is the one in EN 1811. The pH value of protective clothing material should be greater than 3.5 an less than 9.5. The test method for leather to be used is the one in ISO 4045 and for other materials the one in ISO 3071. The color fastness to perspiration of protective clothing materials should be determined in according with ISO 105-A02 and should be at least grade 3 to 4 of the gray scale for the color change of the specimen. The test should be conducted in according with ISO 105-E04. For substances such as azo-dyes which release carcinogenic amines as defined by directive 67/548/EEC and its amendments, should not be detectable by appropriate method.

 

Requirement and testing of restraint

Protectors should not be displaced from the area they are designed to protect during normal movements and where subjected to impact. This requirement is somehow related to the ergonomic principle. When protectors are tested the central point of protector shall not move more than the appropriate value in table 1.

Table 1 : Maximum movements permitted and forces to be used on protectors during testing.


Kind of protector

Range of mass

A

B

C

Level 1

Level 2

Level 1

Level 2

Level 1

Level 2

Elbow protector

20mm / 20N

20mm / 40N

40mm / 30N

40mm / 50N

50mm / 40N

50mm / 50N

Knee protector

30mm / 20N

30mm / 40N

50mm / 30N

50mm / 50N

60mm / 40N

60mm / 50N

Wrist protector

20mm / 30N

20mm / 30N

20mm / 40N

20mm / 40N

20mm / 50N

20mm / 50N

Palm protector

20mm / 30N

20mm / 30N

20mm / 40N

20mm / 40N

20mm / 50N

20mm / 50N

 

Requirement and testing of abrasion resistance
All protectors shall have abrasion resistance layers. The abrasion resistance layer is intended to reduced the risk of injuries from sliding impacts with hard surfaces. There are two test methods can be used in testing of abrasion resistance. The first method is moving belt method. The apparatus should be conformed to the principle of EN 13595-2. The protector shall be securely mounted on a specimen holder, and the machine shall be controlled so that the belt speed is between a certain range of speed and applied a certain load on the protector against the belt.
The second method is test carriage method. The carriage presses the protector against the belt with a force of 250 N. Then we create a relative motion between abrasive paper and protector with a specified speed. Two protectors in each size shall be tested. After the test, the abrasion resistance layer of the protector shall not be perforated.

 

Requirement and testing of impact strength

The test apparatus can be a pendulum test rig or a freefall guided-mass test rig. The impact energy for different kind of protectors listed in table 2. Two protectors in each size shall be tested with single impacts. After testing, the abrasion resistance layer of the knee, elbow, wrist or palm protectors shall not break or split.

Table 2 : Impact energy for testing knee, elbow, wrist and palm protectors (in J)

 

Kind of protector

 Protectors level 1

Protectors level 2

Range of body mass

Range of body mass

A

B

C

A

B

C

Knee protector

25±2

45±2

65±2

30±2

50±2

70±2

Elbow protector

20±2

40±2

60±2

20±2

40±2

60±2

Wrist and palm protector

30±2

40±2

50±2

30±2

40±2

50±2

Requirement and testing for impact performance of knee, palm and elbow protectors
Knee, elbow and palm protectors shall absorb a certain amount of impact energy such that the maximum peak force on the knee, elbow and palm down a specified limit. Testing shall be carried out in an apparatus in which a guided mass falls onto a test specimen on an anvil. For each type of protector four impacts shall be made on the type of construction present over the majority of the area of the protector, and two impacts shall be made on presumed weak area. Two impacts shall be made on each protector tested. After testing, the mean value of the peak forces recorded shall be calculated and shall not exceed the value in table 3.

Table 3 : Impact performance requirements for knee, palm and elbow protectors

Kind of protector

Protectors level 1

Protectors level 2

Maximum peak force kN

Range of body mass

Range of body mass

A

B

C

A

B

C

Knee protector

3 J

8 J

12 J

15 J

20 J

25 J

6

Elbow protector

1 J

4 J

6 J

7.5 J

10 J

15 J

4

Palm protector

3 J

4 J

5 J

6 J

8 J

10 J

3

 

Specific requirement for wrist protectors

The restraint system of wrist protectors shall be continuously adjustable.
Wrist protectors shall be fitted to appropriate sizes of wrist and hand prosthesis. The wrist protector shall be firmly adjusted to the appropriate size of prosthesis. Applied a force to reach the moment at the wrist according table 4. The angle the wrist moves through shall be observed to determine whether it is more than 40° and less than 55°.
Wrist protectors shall have stiffening elements that exceed the dimension in table 5. The reference point of measurements shall be the plane of the wrist of an appropriate size of wrist.
The stiffness elements allow wrist protectors to be flexible such that users can react to the impact accidents.

Table 4 : Moment at the wrist joint of the force to be applied.

 

Range of body mass

A

B

C

Moment of force

2

3

3

Table 5 : Minimum dimensions of stiffness elements in wrist protectors.


Location of stiffness elements

Range of body mass

A

B

C

Length from the wrist up to the arm

30

40

50

Length from the wrist towards the finger tip

40

50

60

Width in the palmar region

15

30

25

 

Marking and information supplied by manufacturer

Protectors shall be durably and clearly marked with : name or trademark of the manufacturer or his authorized representative within the European Union; designation of protectors, commercial name or code that uniquely identifies the protector; size of protector; number of this standard and performance level; clear identification whether the protector is for left or right fitting; international care label symbols; year of manufacture (date or code); the pictogram instructing the user to see the information supplied by the manufacturer.
All protectors shall be supplied with wearing and usage information and an explanation to make sure the safety and effective use of protectors. These information shall be precise and comprehensible and in official language(s) of the country or region which the equipment to be placed on the market.

In the annex II of directive 89/686/EEC, the essential requirements for protectors are listed clearly. The EU directive is free for everyone, you may download from the EU official web site. You may address the essential requirements between directive 89/686/EEC and its harmonized standard in annex ZA of EN 14120. At the end of the article, I hope this introduction will help you in the way of design and quality control of your products.