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Here’s a Quick Guide to Heat-Resistant Sleeves

by Joe Geng on March 22, 2017

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Don’t let the name fool you, Superior Glove makes more than just gloves. We also manufacture sleeves to protect your arms. When discussing sleeves, the first thing that comes to mind is protection from cuts. But recently our sleeves have been tested for heat resistance as well. Heat-resistant sleeves are useful in many industries from restaurants to welding. But you can’t choose heat sleeves in the same way that you choose heat-resistant gloves. This quick guide will point out characteristics you should look for in your heat-resistant sleeves.


1. How are Heat-Resistant Sleeves Measured?

As mentioned above, you can’t choose heat sleeves the same way you choose gloves. This is because heat-resistant sleeves are not designed for the same purpose as gloves. Chances are that you’ll never be holding a hot object with your arm the way you would with your hand.

Instead, heat-resistant sleeves are rated for incidental contact. Meaning you accidentally touch a hot object, your brain registers pain, you move your arm. But rather than having to spend the next ten minutes running your arm under cold water and applying salve to a burn, you continue with your work.

The North American standard that heat-resistant sleeves are rated is called ASTM F1060. It’s the same standard under which heat-resistant gloves are tested.

As we covered in the Beginner’s Guide to Heat Resistance, rating for heat resistance is determined at the highest temperature where:

  • Time to pain is over four seconds
  • Time to second-degree burn is over 15 seconds

Unlike a glove which will receive a rating between level 1 (heat protection under 176°F) and level 5 (heat protection over 608°F), most sleeves will only be rated for incidental contact. For instance, our Contender™ Aramid Cut and Flame-Resistant Sleeves with STAYz-UP™ Armbands has an incidental heat rating of  600°F for 3.25 seconds.

Contender™ Aramid Cut and Flame-Resistant Sleeves with STAYz-UP™ Armbands
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2. Heat Sleeve Length:

Heat-resistant sleeves can range in length from 10 inches to 22 inches. The measurement is taken from the base of the wrist and goes up the arm. The length of sleeve you’ll need is based on the amount of protection you require.

  • 10-inch sleeve will cover most of your forearm
  • 18-inch sleeve will cover past your elbow
  • 22-inch sleeve will cover from your wrist to your shoulder

To optimize comfort while wearing heat sleeves, it’s important to select the correct length. There is as much danger is selecting a sleeve that is too long as there is in selecting a heat-resistant sleeve that is too short. If your forearms are the only area at risk of burning, a sleeve that goes up to your shoulder won’t be necessary. The issue we most commonly find is that people will roll the sleeve down. The excess material can bunch up and become a workplace hazard by snagging on machinery.
heat-resistant sleeves


3. Is Cut Resistance Needed?

It’s not uncommon to be working in an environment with multiple hazards. If you need a sleeve that has cut and heat-resistance properties, choose one made with an aramid material like Kevlar®. Kevlar® heat sleeves are inherently cut-resistant and will provide a higher level of incidental heat protection than cotton while letting your skin breathe more.  When selecting sleeves with cut-resistant properties you can either choose:

  1. A sleeve with the same level of cut resistance as your gloves to be on the safe side
  2. A sleeve one to two cut levels lower since your arms are not typically at as much risk as your hands


4. Tapered Versus Tubular:

Tubular sleeves, which are the same size from end to end, are a fine option for forearm protection. But when it comes to fitting over the bicep, one size does not fit all. A five-foot-four employee and a six-foot-one employee will not comfortably fit in the same heat-resistant sleeve. Tapered sleeves, which are wider at one end, are the best bet. They fit the bicep area better, will be more breathable and won’t roll down as much. Many of our heat-resistant sleeves use an elasticized technology called STAYz-UP™ to secure the sleeve to your arm without irritation.

tapered arm sleeves. tubular arm sleeves


While there are less factors to consider when choosing heat-resistant sleeves compared to selecting heat-resistant gloves, it’s important to consider these four variables when finding your perfect sleeve.

(Want to try heat-resistant sleeves in your workplace? Click the button below to get your FREE sample!)
Contender™ Aramid Cut and Flame-Resistant Sleeves with STAYz-UP™ Armbands
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