EN 343: Protection against rain
Norms: EN 343:2003 / EN 343:2003/A1:2007 - Supersedes ENV 343:1998
Resistance to water penetration and water vapour resistance are the two main properties which are tested in the EN 343.
The following parameters are used:
X: Resistance to water penetration (3 levels)
Resistance to water penetration is the most important quality for an adequate protection. The resistance to water penetration is expressed in kPa but a more understandable expression is in millimetre water columm.
Y: Water vapour resistance - Breathing properties (3 levels)
The classic and easy to understand unity for breathability was defined in g/m2 per 24 hours. However EN 343 uses a water vapour resistance value Ret (m2. Pa/W), which is measured by the 'so-called' skinmodel test ISO 11092.
For a clear understanding the higher the Ret value, the higher the resistance of the fabric, the less vapour passes through in these particular lab conditions (static, ISO temperature 35° C)
Breathable garments evacuate the perspiration away from the skin and from the garments. When too much humidity has accumulated in the clothing, condensation occurs and the skin feels clammy.
In cold atmospheric circumstances one risks to cool down too quickly; otherwise in warm circumstances, the rhythm of the heart will increase and after some time there is a risk of heat stress.
One feels comfortable when the amount of heat which is drawn away
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