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Industries like oil and gas, mining and petrochemicals often involve working in demanding environments. Air gases, vapours, mists or dust can mix in a way that makes them able to catch fire under certain conditions. This creates potentially explosive atmospheres. Therefore, electrical HVAC equipment has to pass specific safety requirements, testing and certification. Intrinsically safe ATEX equipment improves the health and safety of workers potentially at risk.
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Industrial heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment may be powerful enough for demanding construction sites with its stunning capacity and output. However, when it comes to hazardous or potential explosive environments (ATEX), specific ATEX equipment will be needed to ensure the safety in a challenging workplace.
ATEX is a set of directives in Europe that make sure people are safe in environments with an explosive atmosphere. There are two ATEX directives: the Equipment Directive (2014/34/EC) and the Workplace Directive (1999/92/EC).
The Equipment Directive means that equipment in potentially explosive environments that could explode must be checked and approved. The directive is also known as the ATEX 114 directive. The alternative name is obtained from its French title, ATmospheres EXplosives.
The Workplace Directive sets minimum requirements for improving workplace safety to protect workers in ATEX environments. Hazardous areas are grouped into ATEX zones based on how likely they are to explode.
When flammable gases, mists, vapours or combustible dusts mix with air, they can cause explosions. The explosions can kill workers and cause damage in the area, so it's important to stop things from exploding by handling fine organic dusts, avoiding the release of hazardous substances and not using tools that make sparks.
If there are too many flammable gases, mists, vapours or dusts in the air, it can become dangerous and explosive. It's important to prevent the accumulation of dangerous substances and get rid of the source of ignition. This will help reduce the risks from explosive atmospheres. To do this, you need the right equipment in the right zone.
ATEX has two types of explosive atmospheres: gas and dust. These areas are divided into three smaller safety zones. There are different ways of counting ATEX zones and ATEX equipment. Zones for gases start at 0, and for dust, they start at 20. The equipment count starts at 1.
Zones 0 & 20: There is constant and very high danger. An explosive atmosphere occurs continuously and frequently. Category 1 equipment is needed.
Zones 1 & 21: There is potential high danger. An explosive atmosphere is likely to occur occasionally under normal working conditions. A minimum of Category 2 equipment is needed.
Zones 2 & 22: The danger level is minor and normal. An explosive atmosphere is not likely to occur, or only for short periods. A minimum of Category 3 equipment is needed.
There are two main groups. They are shown by Roman numerals. Each of these is further divided into safety categories.
Equipment Group I: The equipment is designed to be used only in underground areas of mines and in parts of surface installations that are at risk of firedamp and/or combustible dust.
Equipment Group II: The equipment is designed to be used for non-mining applications in ATEX environments.
At National Heater Shops, we have curated a range of established brands to offer you the best quality equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
Our ATEX range includes all kinds of HVAC tools like heaters, ventilation fans and ductings. They are ideal for industries that involve heavy production facilities, such as the pharmaceutical and aviation industry. For example, SA Equip has been a leading provider of electrical equipment since the 1920s. Their equipment is certified by ATEX, IECEx, UKCA, and INMETRO.
Intrinsically safe EX products translate safety and efficiency into tangible business benefits. Industries like construction, rail, biofuels, utilities, power stations and aerospace will benefit from them.
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