Cryogenic Protective Clothing
From fueling NASA space shuttles to producing, storing, and shipping medications and labs or food from food processing plants, cryogenic materials - both gasses and liquids - are used across industries and have a daily impact on our lives.
The workers in the cryo industries face extreme cold hazards such as frostbite, exposure to toxic gasses, and in some cases, explosion hazards due to the flammability of cryogenic liquids, and gasses.
NSA manufactures cryogenic PPE and apparel so workers have complete flame-resistant full-body coverage, limiting skin or body exposure when working with cryogenic materials.
Extreme Cold and Frostbite
Frostbite can occur quickly when exposed to extreme cold temperatures even for a short amount of time. When handling liquid nitrogen and other cryogenic gasses, frostbite can appear rapidly as the materials are typically colder than any temperature recorded on earth. Changes in skin color and thermal burns can result from prolonged exposure. Cryogenic protective clothing can only handle so much exposure from splashes and liquid filling up inside of gloves, for example, before the clothing must eventually be discarded.
Three types of protection are related to handling cryogenic materials as laid about by EN 511, the European standard that applies to gloves that protect against convective and contact cold levels.
- Resistance for cryogenic protective clothing and PPE for convective cold is measured in performance levels cold temperatures are transferred.
- Resistance to contact cold is measured in performance levels against the gloves' contact with the cold object.
Permeability to water is the final performance level for protection related to the glove's resistance to water.
The performance levels for convective and contact cold range from 0-4, based on tests of temperature drop and energy used to keep wearers' hands warm in contact with cold. When working with cryogenic liquids such as nitrogen, waterproof gloves are recommended over water-resistant cryogenic gloves for immersion protection.
Waterproof cryogenic gloves provide additional splash protection. For this type of glove, the fit should be loose so they can be easily removed in the event that cryogenic liquids and gets inside of gloves, exposing the skin. National Safety Apparel's cryogenic aprons are not only water-resistant but also go through EN 511 tests for contact and convective cold levels.
Because cryogenic liquids can bubble and splash it is also important to protect the face and eyes. Faceshields should always be worn when working with and handling cryogenic liquids. A clear face shield from polycarbonate will attach to most hard hats and provide protection for the face and eyes against incidental cryogenic liquid splash and exposure.
National Safety Apparel’s cryogenic safety kits include both water-resistant and waterproof cryogenic gloves, cryogenic aprons, and faceshields.
Fire and Explosion Hazards
Cryogenic liquids and gasses - especially liquid hydrogen - are highly flammable. Pressure as well as the environment in which they are stored can easily ignite and cause dangerous fires and potentially deadly explosions.
Due to the highly flammable nature of cryogenic materials, explosion hazards are a risk that workers have to prepare for. Wearing flame-resistant clothing keeps workers protected and often can make a difference between an injury and a fatality.
Flame resistant clothing that is dual certified for arc flash protection and flash fire protection can reduce the potential severity of the injury caused by flammable cryogenic liquids and gasses. FR clothing does not ignite and will not contribute to burn injuries caused by fire, thereby providing protection for those working with sometimes unpredictable cryogenic materials.
National Safety Apparel manufactures cryogenic protective clothing including gloves, aprons, and safety kits for work with cryogenic liquids. NSA FR clothing also helps to protect workers in medical, food processing, and chemical industries that use liquid nitrogen flammable gasses that present explosion hazards. View our cryogenic protective clothing, get in touch with our customer service team to inquire about our personal protective equipment, or find out how to buy.