Global Arc Flash Protection Industry

Global Arc Flash Protection Industry

  • September 2020 •
  • 413 pages •
  • Report ID: 5797920 •
  • Format: PDF
The global market for Arc Flash Protection is projected to reach US$2.4 billion by 2025, driven by the ever-present threat of arc flash hazards in virtually every industrial environment ranging from utilities, manufacturing and processing, oil & gas to transportation and infrastructure. The ever-present threat of arc flashes can be out into perspective by the fact that virtually all electrical systems of voltages 200V or greater are susceptible to arc flash incidents. The addressable market opportunity can also be measured by the growing use of electrical enclosures against the backdrop of massive quantities of electricity produced and consumed worldwide coupled with the ubiquity of power electronics. Arc flash is an electrical explosion of light and heat caused when stray electric current flows through air gaps between conductors. Causes of arc flash accidents include gaps in electrical insulation; improper installation; use of non-standard and/or sub-standard electrical parts; accumulation of corrosion, dust on the surface of the conductor; worn-out conductor insulation; loose wire connections; obstructed disconnect panels; and improperly maintained switches and circuit breakers. All of these factors trigger faulty current magnetic fields by abnormal conduction of electrical current from phase to ground, phase to neutral, and/or phase to phase and when ionized by surrounding air results in an explosion. Arc faults are extremely hazardous to personnel and the enormous energy and heat released by the explosion can result in severe skin burns. Heat released by the arc can reach 40,000 degrees Fahrenheit, temperatures over 4 times higher than the temperature of the sun`s surface, making the explosion fatal for people and equipment. The high intensity flash can also damage the eyes and cause permanent loss of vision, while the shock waves caused by the explosion can knock down people and walls. The sound of the explosion can rupture eardrums and cause hearing loss.

Arc flashes are surprisingly common with the United States alone witnessing over 6 to 10 arc flashes in a day, a major percentage of which result in injuries to workers. The market therefore stands to benefit from stringent occupational health and worker safety regulations. With several countries worldwide legislating punitive laws, companies are taking measures to mitigate the risk of arc flash hazards. These include auditing of audit electrical best practices; proper design and installation of electrical systems; conduct routine arc flash risk assessment; provide personal protective equipment (PPE); and install arc flash control, and detection systems. Arc flash workwear comprising overalls, gloves, helmets, face shields and head-to-toe PPE are growing in demand. The trend is forecast to grow stronger in the coming years as the range of available clothing designs expands along with features and functionalities such as comfort innovation in breathable fabrics; and development of flame resistant fabrics. Especially poised to score the highest gains will be multifunctional fabrics that can protect against multiple thermal hazards such as heat, flame, and molten metal splashes. A noteworthy and also a revenue generating trend is the innovative use of fiber optics in arc flash detection systems. Fiber optic cable systems capable of detecting light from arc flashes can help speed up response mechanisms immensely. Given that to effectively maximize protection a quick response time is critical, fibers optics with its in-built speed and EMI resistance benefits make it the perfect technology for rapid detection of arc flashes. The United States and Europe represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 52.5% of the market supported by stringently enforced electrical safety standards. China ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 8.1% over the analysis period supported by the many reforms legislated by the Chinese government of late to regulate and govern employers and the working conditions of the employees.