EXPLOSION PROTECTION - Basics & Terms
ATEX stands for "Atmosphères Explosibles", which means "potentially explosive atmospheres" in French. ATEX refers to a set of European directives governing safety in potentially explosive atmospheres. The main objective of the ATEX directives is to minimize the risk of explosions in environments where flammable substances such as gases, vapours, mists or dusts are present.
ATEX consists of two main parts: ATEX 114 and ATEX 153. ATEX 114 refers to the requirements for equipment and protective systems used in potentially explosive atmospheres, while ATEX 153 deals with the minimum requirements for the protection of workers working in such areas .
ATEX directives define the basic safety requirements that equipment and protective systems must meet to minimize the risk of sparks, hot surfaces or other potential sources of ignition. They also include regulations for marking equipment with special Ex symbols to indicate that they are approved for use in hazardous areas.
Compliance with ATEX directives is required in various industries including chemical, petrochemical, oil and gas, mining, pharmaceutical, food processing and other areas where explosive atmospheres may occur.
Electrostatic charging occurs when excess electrical charge builds up on an insulating material. It occurs when electrons transfer from one material to another, creating an imbalance in the charges. This imbalance results in the charged material being either positively or negatively charged.
Electrostatic charge occurs when two materials come into contact or separate. Upon contact, electrons can be transferred from one material to another. When the materials then separate, each material retains the charge it acquired during contact.
An example of static electricity is rubbing plastic on a carpet. Rubbing transfers electrons from the carpet to the plastic, making the plastic negatively charged and the carpet positively charged.
Electrostatic charge can have various effects. One of the most obvious effects is the attraction or repulsion of charged objects. Charged objects can attract or repel each other, depending on the type of charge. In addition, static electricity can cause sparks to form, especially if the charge discharges quickly.
However, in some areas, such as the electronics and explosives industries, static electricity can be dangerous. It can damage electronic components or serve as an ignition source for potentially explosive atmospheres. For this reason, measures are taken in such environments to control and minimize the electrostatic charge, e.g. B. through the use of conductive materials, grounded protective equipment and grounding systems.
EX lights or ATEX lights are special lighting devices that are approved for use in potentially explosive areas in accordance with the ATEX guidelines. These lights meet certain safety standards to minimize the risk of sparks or hot surfaces that could ignite an explosive atmosphere.
ATEX Luminaires are used in various industries including chemical, oil & gas, mining, pharmaceutical, food processing and other areas where flammable substances are present.
When selecting ATEX luminaires, certain criteria should be considered, such as the zone classification of the hazardous area, the type of flammable materials, the brightness required and the mounting requirements. There are different types of ATEX lights including LED lights, halogen lights and fluorescent lights, each with different characteristics and applications.
It is important to note that ATEX luminaires are marked accordingly to indicate their approval for use in hazardous areas. They should also be sourced from certified manufacturers to ensure they meet applicable safety standards.
The EX group classification refers to the classification of potentially explosive areas according to the ATEX guidelines. The classification is based on the type of flammable materials that may be present in a particular area. The ATEX directives use the letter combinations "G" and "D" to identify the different groups.
The EX group classification consists of two main groups:
Group I: This group refers to areas in which an explosive atmosphere can arise from gases or vapours. It is further subdivided into subgroups IIA, IIB and IIC, with IIC representing the highest risk. Examples of such areas are chemical plants, refineries or gas stations.
Group II: This group refers to areas in which an explosive atmosphere can arise from dust. It is divided into subgroups IIA, IIB and IIC, with IIC again representing the highest risk. Examples of such areas are grain silos, mills or food processing plants.
The selection of suitable devices and protective systems for potentially explosive areas depends on the EX group classification of the respective area. Equipment and device manufacturers must ensure that their products meet the specific requirements of the appropriate EX group to ensure safe use in these environments.
The ignition point, also known as ignition temperature or ignition temperature, is the minimum temperature at which a flammable substance can ignite on its own when exposed to an ignition source. It is the temperature at which release of flammable vapours, gases or dusts occurs in concentration sufficient to form an explosive mixture with air or other source of oxidation.
The ignition point is an important property of flammable substances as it determines their fire and explosion hazard. Every flammable substance has a specific ignition temperature that can depend on its chemical composition, pressure, concentration and other environmental conditions.
There are different ignition temperatures used to characterize flammable substances:
Flash Point: The lowest temperature at which a flammable substance on the surface can ignite when an ignition source is present. When the flash point is reached, however, no continuous flames are created.
Ignition Temperature: The lowest temperature at which a flammable substance will spontaneously ignite and sustain continuous combustion.
Autoignition Temperature: The lowest temperature at which a flammable substance will spontaneously ignite without requiring an external source of ignition.
Knowing the ignition point of a substance is important to take safety measures and minimize the risks of fire and explosion in hazardous environments. In industry, workplaces in which flammable substances are used are marked according to the areas at risk of ignition and the properties of the substances used, and appropriate protective measures are taken
The IP degree of protection (Ingress Protection) is an international designation for the degree of protection of electronic devices or housings against the ingress of foreign bodies such as dust and moisture. The IP protection class consists of the letters "IP" followed by two digits.
The first digit indicates the degree of protection against the ingress of solid foreign bodies and can have values from 0 to 6. The higher the number, the better the protection. For example, IP2X stands for protection against finger penetration and IP6X for full protection against dust.
The second digit indicates the degree of protection against the ingress of moisture or water and can have values from 0 to 9. Again, a higher number means better protection. For example, IPX4 stands for protection against splashing water, while IPX8 stands for full protection against permanent immersion in water.
The IP rating is used to indicate the suitability of a device or enclosure for different environments and applications. For example, devices with a high IP rating can be used in humid or dusty environments, outdoors or in industrial areas, while devices with a lower IP rating are more suitable for indoor use.
It is important to note that the IP rating reflects specific tests and criteria and the marking should always be checked carefully to ensure it meets the requirements of the intended application.
|Code number 1 - Protection against foreign bodies||Code number 2 - Protection against water|
|0||no protection||0||No protection|
|1||Protection against solid foreign objects with Ø > 50mm||1||Protetcion against dripping water|
|2||Protection against solid foreign objects with Ø > 12,5mm||2||Protetcion against falling dripping water (up to 15% inclination of the working medium)|
|3||Protection against solid foreign objects with Ø > 2,5mm||3||Protetcion against spraying water (up to 60° vertical)|
|4||Protection against solid foreign objects with Ø > 1mm||4||Protetcion against spraying water (from any direction)|
|5||Protetcion against dust (in a harmful amount)||5||Protetcion against water jets (any angle)|
|6||Dustproof||6||Protetcion against strong water|
|7||Protetcion against temporary submergence|
The term "operator standard" is not generally defined and can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. However, there are a few possible interpretations:
Operator regulations: In some industries, e.g. B. the process industry, there are certain regulations, guidelines or standards that must be followed by operators of plants or facilities. These regulations can cover safety, environmental or quality aspects and set specific requirements for the operation, maintenance and monitoring of the systems. These regulations may be referred to as "operator standards".
Industrial standards: There are a variety of standards that are used in various industries and specify requirements for the operation of systems or devices. These standards can be developed by national or international standardization organizations and contain guidelines and best practices for operation, safety, maintenance and other relevant aspects. Some examples of such standards are the ISO standards (International Organization for Standardization) or the EN standards (European standards).
Operator manuals or operating instructions: In many industrial applications, operator manuals or operating instructions are provided to give the operators of systems or devices instructions and information for safe and proper operation. These documents can be viewed as internal "operator standards" as they establish specific instructions and procedures for the operation of the facilities.
It is important to consider the precise context in which the term "operator standard" is used to understand its specific meaning. In any case, it refers to the regulations, standards or instructions relevant to the safe and proper operation of installations or equipment.
ATEX pressurization is a special method of protecting electrical or mechanical equipment in hazardous areas according to the ATEX directives. This method is used to minimize the risk of ignition of flammable materials from electrical equipment or mechanical sparking.
Pressurization consists of enclosing the device in a tight housing structure that protects against the ingress of flammable gases, vapors or dusts. The enclosure is filled with an overpressure that is higher than the atmospheric pressure in the surrounding hazardous area. The build-up of overpressure in the housing prevents hazardous substances from penetrating the device and creating an explosive atmosphere.
The pressurization provides a safe environment for the device by creating a barrier between the potentially hazardous materials outside the enclosure and the internal components of the device. This isolates possible sources of ignition and reduces the risk of an explosion.
In order to ensure that the pressurized enclosure meets the required safety standards, the devices must be specially developed and certified for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. They must meet the strict requirements of the ATEX guidelines for pressurized enclosures and be tested and certified by approved testing or certification bodies.
It is important that when using pressurized equipment, the manufacturer's maintenance and inspection guidelines are followed to ensure the protective function remains intact and the equipment is functioning properly.
ATEX encapsulation refers to a special method of protecting electrical equipment in hazardous areas according to the ATEX directives. With encapsulation, the electrical components are embedded or encased in a housing or shell made of special potting material.
The potting material used for encapsulation is typically a resinous or polymer-based material that is applied in liquid form and then cured. It forms a solid, insulating layer around the electrical components and protects them from the ingress of moisture, dust, chemicals and other harmful substances.
Encapsulation offers several advantages:
Protection against environmental influences: The encapsulation protects the sensitive electrical components against external influences such as moisture, corrosion, vibrations and dust. This extends the service life of the devices and increases their reliability.
Insulation and protection against contact: The potting compound insulates the electrical components and prevents people from accidentally coming into contact with live parts. This reduces the risk of electric shock and other injuries.
Mechanical Protection: The potting compound forms a protective layer around the electrical components and provides some mechanical stability. This protects the components from damage caused by shock, vibration or mechanical stress.
Thermal Protection: The potting compound can also provide some thermal insulation and help keep the operating temperature of the electrical components stable. This protects the components from excessive heat or cold.
It is important to note that the encapsulation of electrical equipment must be in accordance with the specific requirements of the ATEX directives in order to adequately protect the hazardous areas. The potting materials used must be selected according to certified standards and regulations to ensure the required safety.
The ATEX temperature classes refer to the classification of equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres based on their allowable surface temperature. The temperature classes are defined in the ATEX directive and indicate up to which temperature a device can be safely used without increasing the risk of ignition of an explosive atmosphere.
The ATEX temperature classes are denoted by letters: T1, T2, T3, T4, T5 and T6. Each letter represents a specific temperature class with different maximum temperatures. The lower the temperature class, the lower the maximum permissible surface temperature of the device.
Here are the ATEX temperature classes and their associated maximum temperatures:
T1: Maximum allowable surface temperature of 450°C
T2: Maximum permissible surface temperature of 300°C
T3: Maximum permissible surface temperature of 200°C
T4: Maximum allowable surface temperature of 135°C
T5: Maximum permissible surface temperature of 100°C
T6: Maximum permissible surface temperature of 85°C
Selecting the correct ATEX temperature class for an equipment depends on the type of hazardous area and the flammable materials that may be present. It is important that equipment is labeled and certified according to its assigned temperature class to ensure it conforms to applicable safety standards and reduces the risk of ignition.
|Class||Mixture temperature range||Ignition temperature of combustible substances e.g.|
|T1||> 450°C||Propane 510°C|
|T2||> 300°C- ≤ 450°C||Acetylene 305°C|
|T3||> 200°C - ≤ 300°C||Diesel 220°C - 300°C / Petrol 220°C - 450°C|
|T4||> 135°C - ≤ 200°C||Diethylether 170°C|
|T5||> 100°C - ≤ 135°C|
|T6||> 85°C - ≤ 100°C||Carbon Monoxide 85°C|
The max. surface temperature must be less than the ignition temperature of the medium surrounding the explosion-proof equipment.
Types of protection
|Electrical explosion protection - basic standard Gas-Ex EN 60079-0|
|"d" = pressure proof encapsulation EN 60079-1|
|"p" = overpressure sealing EN 60079-2|
|"q" = sand encapsulation EN 60079-5|
|"o" = oil encapsulation EN 60079-6|
|"e" = increased safety EN 60079-7|
|"i" = intrinsic safety EN 60079-11|
|"o" = oil encapsulation EN 60079-5|
|"m" = Encapsulation EN 60079-18|
|Electrical explosion protection - Basic standard dust-Ex EN 61241-0|
|"tD" = Protection by housing EN 61241-1|
|"pD" = Overpressure protection EN 61241-2|
|"iD" = intrinsic safety EN 61241-11|
|"mD" = Encapsulation EN 61241-18|
A type approval is a procedure in which a prototype or sample of a product is checked for its conformity with certain technical requirements and standards. This testing is carried out to ensure that the product meets the required safety and quality standards before it is placed on the market or manufactured on a large scale.
During the type examination, the product is checked by an independent testing body or an approved testing laboratory on various aspects such as design, construction, performance, reliability, safety and environmental compatibility. The exact test criteria depend on the type of product and the applicable regulations.
The type examination often includes physical tests, measurements, inspections and review of the technical documentation of the product. The test results are used to determine if the product meets the required standards and guidelines and if it is working safely and properly.
After a successful type examination, the manufacturer is usually issued with a type examination certificate or a certificate of conformity. This certificate confirms that the tested sample meets the requirements and can be used as a reference for the serial production of the product.
Type testing plays an important role in ensuring the safety and quality of products and serves to protect consumers, the environment and the general public. It is particularly important in areas such as electronics, mechanical engineering, the automotive industry, medical technology and many other sectors.
Zone classification Gas/Dust
|GAS Zone 0 / Cat. 1G||Area in the explosive atmosphere as a mixture of air and combustible gases, vapors or mists, for long periods or frequently.|
|GAS Zone 1 / Cat. 2G||Area in which an explosive atmosphere can occasionally form as a mixture of air and combustible gases, vapors or mists during normal operation.|
|GAS Zone 2 / Cat. 3G||Area in which an explosive atmosphere as a mixture of air and combustible gases, vapors or mists does not occur normally or only briefly during normal operation.|
|DUST Zone 20 / Cat. 1D||Area in the explosive atmosphere as a mixture of air and combustible gases, vapors or mists, for long periods or frequently.|
|DUST Zone 21 / Cat. 2D||Area in which an explosive atmosphere can sometimes form as a mixture of air and combustible gases, vapors or mists during normal operation.|
|DUST Zone 22 / Cat. 3D||Range in which an explosive atmosphere as a mixture of air and combustible gases, vapors or mists normally does not occur, or only briefly, during normal operation.|