What is the Difference between AR and FR Clothing?

When it comes to protective clothing, AR and FR clothing are often used interchangeably. However, there are significant differences between the two that are important to recognize. 

AR, or Arc Rated, apparel is designed to protect against electrical arc flash hazards, while FR, or Flame Retardant, clothing is designed to resist the spread of flames. In this article, you will learn the differences between flame-resistant (FR) vs arc-rated (AR) clothing and the types of protective clothing available.

What is AR Clothing?

AR clothing protects workers from arc flashes and other electrical hazards. It is made from a special flame-resistant fabric that protects the wearer from burns, sparks, and other fires caused by an arc flash. The clothing is typically worn by electricians, linemen, and other workers routinely exposed to high-voltage electrical equipment. 

The clothing is designed to be lightweight, comfortable, and breathable, so workers can remain safe and comfortable while working. It also includes additional features such as reflective tape and pockets for tools. The key to the clothing’s effectiveness is the Arc-Rated fabric, which is flame-resistant and highly durable. 

The material is also designed to be flexible, so it can move with the wearer as they do their job. By wearing AR clothing, workers can be sure that they are protected against arc flashes and other electrical hazards.

What is FR Clothing?

FR clothing is designed to protect people from fire hazards and other high-risk environments. Flame-resistant clothing is important for safety and comfort in many industrial, commercial, and residential settings. 

FR clothing is made from special materials designed to self-extinguish when exposed to flames, reducing the severity and duration of any burns that may occur. Materials used to manufacture FR clothing include wool, aramid, modacrylic, and cotton blends. 

FR clothing is available in various styles, including coveralls, shirts, pants, and accessories. FR clothing is designed to be comfortable, durable, and lightweight while offering maximum protection from fire and other hazardous elements. 

Additionally, FR clothing can be treated with special dyes to enhance its visibility in low-light situations, making it an ideal choice for workers who need to be easily seen in hazardous areas. FR clothing is an important component of safety and comfort in many industrial, commercial, and residential settings and can help to protect people from fire and other hazardous elements.

Difference Between AR and FR Clothing

Arc-rated clothing (AR) and flame-resistant clothing (FR) are different types of protective clothing. While both are designed to protect workers from hazardous conditions, they have different uses. AR clothing is designed to protect against arc flash, while FR clothing protects against fire, heat, and flame. 

The primary difference between the two is that all AR clothing is flame-resistant, but not all FR clothing is arc-rated. This is because not all flame-resistant fabrics have been tested for exposure against arc flash. 

In other words, if the flame-resistant clothing you wear has an arc rating, it is also arc-rated. While both AR and FR clothing can protect against hazardous conditions, it is important to know which type is best suited for the environment you are working in. By understanding the differences between the two, you can ensure that you are wearing the right clothing for the job.

Common Uses of AR and FR Clothing

AR and FR clothing are fabrics that have been treated to make them resistant to flames and heat. They are designed to protect wearers from heat and flames and are commonly used in hazardous work environments, such as welding and metalworking. AR and FR clothing are also used by firefighters, as well as by people who work in hazardous material handling and in the oil and gas industry. 

The fabric is often a blend of natural fibers, such as cotton and wool, and synthetic fibers, such as nylon and polyester. The fabric is treated with a flame retardant chemical, which helps slow the spread of flames and reduce the intensity of the heat. This fabric is also used in the home, such as in furniture, curtains, and bedding. 

The flame-retardant fabric helps reduce the risk of fires in the home and protects those living there. AR and FR clothing are designed to be comfortable and durable and available in various styles, colors, and sizes. 

They are typically machine-washable and can be worn for extended periods. As with any clothing, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper care and maintenance to ensure the fabric’s effectiveness and longevity.


Understanding the difference between flame-resistant (FR) vs arc-rated (AR) clothing is important for any work that involves a risk of electric arc flash hazards or exposure to hazardous materials and flames. AR clothing protects against electric arc flash hazards, while FR clothing is designed to resist the spread of flames. There are also various other types of protective clothing available, and it is important to select the right type of protective clothing for the job.

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