In cold environments it is extra important to protect the hands from cold burns. This standard measures how well the glove can withstand both convective cold and contact cold. In addition, water permeation is tested after 30 minutes. European Glove Standard EN 511 specifies the requirements and test methods for gloves which protect against convective and conductive cold up to -50°C, as well as water permeability. Gloves that will protect you and warm you even in the coldest conditions can easily be recognized by bearing the EN511 symbol.

More often than not, the sign will be accompanied with three numbers that show how well the glove performed in a particular test. With convective and contact cold tests, the higher the number the better the performance, while water penetration is only marked with either 0 or 1, where 0 signifies that the glove failed and 1 signifying that the glove passed.


During this test the glove is placed on an electrically heated mannequin hand that measures the amount of power required to maintain 30°C and 35°C in a controlled environmental chamber. 

The chamber is called down to 20°C below that of the heated hand and constant air flow is applied. This assessment is based on determining the electrical power required to maintain a constant temperature gradient between the surface of the heated hand and the atmosphere in the environmental chamber. 

The more electrical power that is required, the lower the thermal insulation value of the glove.


This test only involves the glove materials being placed between metal plates, which are at different temperatures. The measured temperature drop across the test specimen is then used to calculate its thermal resistance. 


Unlike the two tests above, the water penetration test is a simple pass/fail test. To determine water permeability, the glove is submerged in water for 5 minutes. If the glove retains it impermeability, then it passes with a level 1 rating, while the gloves that fail receive a Level 0 rating.