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ANSI – ISEA 2016 Change in Cut Standards Explained!

By treenadmin, 01/11/2018 - 15:35

Let us start the New Year by explaining the changes in cut standards! ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 is the latest revision of a voluntary industry consensus standard. It is an overwhelming process to determine the appropriate gloves for your industry due to the variety of testing methods, ratings and standards. Here are a few things that you need to know about the new standards to ensure you pick the right glove.

What has Changed?

Revised method for testing

One of the significant changes in this fourth edition of ANSI/ISEA 105 surrounds the determination of classification for cut-resistance. For the purpose of classifying a glove to this standard, a single test method (TDM) has been selected in an effort to provide a consistent meaning to the ratings from the end-user perspective. The revised test method requires materials to be tested on the TDM-100 Machine only. Previously testing was approved on the TDM-100 machine or the CPPT machine.

TDM-100 Machine

The TDM-100 Machine uses a 4-inch straight edge blade across a mandrel. The sample is cut five times each at three different loads. The data from this test is used to determine the required load (grams) to cut through the sample at a reference distance of 20mm (0.8in). Levels are then assigned according to the gram weight from ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).

New Classification levels

In addition, the number of classification levels has been expanded to address the disparate gap among certain levels seen in earlier versions and to model the approach used in similar international standards. To differentiate between the two cut scores that will be generated under the new EN 388 2016 standard, the cut score achieved using the ISO 13997 test method will have a letter added to the end of the first four digits. The letter assigned will depend on the result of the test, which will be given in Newtons. Newtons to Gram conversion is approximately X 100. This conversion allows comparison for each EN 388 rating to ANSI/ISEA rating where ANSI goes to 9 levels.

Newton to Gram Conversion.PNG

 The table illustrates how the new EN 388 2016 standard is now in-line with the ANSI/ISEA 105 standard for cut resistance when converting Newtons to grams.




Additional updates include the incorporation of a needlestick puncture test; recognizing that this is a common potential exposure for the medical, sanitation and recycling industries. Cited test methods have been updated throughout the standard to reflect the state of the art in materials performance and technology and to harmonize with other existing standards, where possible.

What is EN 388?

EN 388 measures protection against mechanical hazards which are expressed by a pictogram followed by four numbers (performance levels), each representing test performance against a specific hazard. It also measures resistance to abrasion, based on the number of cycles required to abrade through the sample (1 to 4). Blade cut resistance is also measured based on the number of cycles required to cut through the sample at a constant speed (1 to 5). Tear resistance is measured based on the amount of force required to tear the sample (1 to 4). Puncture is measured based on the amount of force required to pierce the sample with a standard size point (1 to 4).

It is expected people will gradually switch to ANSI/ISEA over the next 3 years. Because the labels are different – Level 5 vs level A5 – both labels will be in the market for a while.

Some gloves that meet the new standards

Ansell’s HyFlex 11-542 Cut Level A7 is a new glove that was released in August 2017 with improved technology. This glove has high level cut protection (ANSI A7) with dexterity. It also has EN407 contact heat level 1 protection for intermittent contact with hot parts & equipment. HyFlex 11-542 Cut Level A7 is a versatile solution suitable for a wide range of applications. Please read more about HyFlex 11-542.


PIP has been testing all of its cut resistant gloves with the TDM-100 machine since 2005, which is (and has been) compliant with the new test method, enabling them to easily convert to the new the EN 388. To browse gloves from PIP, please click here Gloves from PIP.

If you have any questions or to request a sample of the HyFlex 11-542 or PIP gloves, please contact our Safety Consultants at 604-253-4588 (LowerMainland) or 250-632-4634 (Kitimat).