ATEX/IECEx certified products are essential in any location that may contain, or carry out activities that produce explosives. It also refers to potentially explosive atmospheres.
The ATEX certification is mandatory across Europe and includes all its stages. From the manufacture through to the installation and use of the equipment. There are two parts which can be defined as;
Directive 99/92/EC – The ATEX Use Directive focuses primarily on the health and safety of workers, working in potentially explosive atmospheres. It involves the correct selection, installation, inspection and maintenance of Ex equipment.
Directive 2014/34/EU – The ATEX Equipment Directive is primarily concerned with trade. It considers the equipment that will be used in potentially hazardous areas and involves the manufacture and sale of Ex equipment.
IECEx is an international certification accepted in several countries to help build confidence in the safety of Ex equipment. It also facilitates international trade of equipment and services for use in explosive atmospheres.
IECEx provides assurance and a knowing that everything from the equipment and install through to the manufacture, operation and maintenance of the certified products comply with IEC international standards and are suitable for their purpose.
Units with IECEx certification for zones 1 & 21 according to European Directive 2014/34/EU and IECEx international standards.
IECEx certification to work on sites classified as zone 1 & zone 21 according to the European Directive 99/92/EC and IECEx international standards.
Comparing ATEX/IECEx and North American NEC 500/505 classification, the units comply with NEC Class 1 Division 1.
What Can Create an Explosion?
Explosion requires three contributing elements:
1. Flammable substance in ignitable quantities (e.g., flammable dust/particulates or gases/mists)
2. Oxygen (typically in the air)
3. Ignition source (e.g., a spark, electrostatic discharge, open flames)
Where do you commonly find Ex equipment?
Any industry/operation that manufactures, processes or uses materials that may be flammable. For example:
Automotive refueling stations
Oil refineries, rigs and processing plants
Chemical processing plants
Printing industries (paper and textiles)
Aircraft refueling stations and hangars
Sewage treatment plants
Gas pipelines and distribution centers
Grain handling and storage operations
Metal surface-grinding operations, especially aluminum dusts and particles