How The ATEX Directive Affects You

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How The ATEX Directive Affects You

The ATEX directive consists of two EU directives describing what equipment and work environment is allowed in an environment with an explosive atmosphere. ATEX derives its name from the French title of the 94/9/EC directive: Appareils destinés à être utilisés en ATmosphères EXplosibles.

There are Two ATEX Directives

One for the manufacturer and one for the user of the equipment:

  • the ATEX 95 equipment directive 94/9/EC, Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres;
  • the ATEX 137 workplace directive 99/92/EC, Minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.

The ATEX for The Manufacturer Changed

The ATEX 94/9/EU that is dedicated to the manufacturer has changed. This new ATEX directive 2014/34/EU will be mandatory for the manufacturer on 20 April 2016 as is stated in article 44 of the directive.

Read the text of the new ATEX 2014/34/EU HERE:

Classification of Hazardous Areas

Regarding ATEX 99/92/EC directive, the requirement is that Employers must classify areas where hazardous explosive atmospheres may occur into zones. The classification given to a particular zone, and its size and location, depends on the likelihood of an explosive atmosphere occurring and its persistence if it does.

Zone 0 – A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is present continuously or for long periods or frequently

Zone 1 – A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.

Zone 2 – A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.

Zone 20 – A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in the air is present continuously, or for long periods or frequently.

Zone 21 – A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in the air is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.

Zone 22 – A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in the air is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.

Ignition Sources

Effective ignition sources are:

  • Lightning strikes.
  • Open flames. This varies from a lit cigarette to welding activity.
  • Mechanically generated impact sparks. For example, a hammer blow on a rusty steel surface compared to a hammer blow on a flint stone. The speed and impact angle (between surface and hammer) are important; a 90-degree blow on a surface is relatively harmless.
  • Mechanically generated friction sparks. The combination of materials and speed determine the effectiveness of the ignition source. For example, 4.5 m/s steel-steel friction with a force greater than 2 kN is an effective ignition source. The combination of aluminium and rust is also notoriously dangerous. More than one red-hot spark is often necessary in order to have an effective ignition source.
  • Electric sparks. For example, a bad electrical connection or a faulty pressure transmitter. The electric energy content of the spark determines the effectiveness of the ignition source.
  • High surface temperature. This can be the result of milling, grinding, rubbing, mechanical friction in a stuffing box or bearing, or a hot liquid pumped into a vessel. For example, the tip of a lathe cutting tool can easily be 600 Celsius (1100 °F); a high-pressure steam pipe may be above the autoignition temperature of some fuel/air mixtures.
  • Electrostatic discharge. Static electricity can be generated by air sliding over a wing, or a non-conductive liquid flowing through a filter screen.
  • Radiation.
  • Adiabatic compression. Air is pumped into a vessel and the vessel surface heats up.

Flameproof and Explosion Proof Electrical Equipment

We are the official Sub-Sahara African distributors for CZ Explosion proof. We import and stock an extensive range of explosion proof components for electrical control systems.

For more information, please contact us today: +27119187810 or Safety@FlameproofManufacturing.com

 

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