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ATEX Equipment Protection Concepts

Electrical Equipment

There are eight recognised concepts of explosion protection within Europe. These are detailed in the European EN 60079 series of Standards shown below

There are four basic methods utilised in order to avoid un-controlled ignitions and we recommend reviewing EN 1127 for further guidance available from BSI, cover page shown opposite

Exclusion of the flammable substance.

Prevention of component sparks or hot surfaces.

Explosion quenching.

Energy limitation.


By applying individually or in combination, the following protection concepts are applied to equipment in order to achieve this.

Protection Concept

Zone of use

ATEX Category

Methodology

Intrinsic Safety

ia

0, 1, 2

1

Limited energy - will not cause ignition in normal  operation, with one fault and with any    combination of two faults applied

ib

1, 2

2

Limited energy - will not cause ignition in normal  operation, with one single fault applied

ic

2

3

Limited energy - will not cause ignition in normal  operation

Flameproof

d

1, 2

2

Explosion containment, will not allow transmission of an internal explosion to the surrounding environment

Increased Safety

e

1, 2

2

Prevention of arcs, sparks and hot surfaces in normal operation

Pressurization

p

1, 2

2

Excludes the hazardous atmospheres by 50Pa positive pressure of inert gas

Powder Filled

q

1, 2

2

High power electronics, such as solenoids, capacitors etc. prevents the explosive atmosphere reaching a hazard

Encapsulation

m

1, 2

2

Light current applications and instrumentation

Oil Filled

o

1, 2

2

High current switchgear, transformers etc. prevents the explosive atmosphere reaching a hazard

Non Sparking

n

2

3

Is not capable of causing an ignition and faults are unlikely to occur


Non-Electrical Equipment

Mechanical Equipment

There are seven recognised concepts of explosion protection for non-electrical equipment within Europe.

These are detailed in the European EN 13463 series of Standards shown below

Type "n" Protection

Type ā€œnā€ equipment protection measures are shown below for completeness, in essence they are simplified versions of the main electrical protection concepts

Type "n" Protection Concepts

Non sparking

EEx nA

Restricted breathing

EEx nR

Simplified Pressurization

EEx nP

Energy limiting apparatus

EEx nL

Sealed device

EEx nC

Enclosed break

EEx nC

Hermetically sealed

EEx nC

Encapsulated

EEx nC


Protection Concept

Zone of use

ATEX Category

Methodology

Constructional Safety

c

0, 1, 2

1

Constructional measures are applied so as to protect against the possibility of ignition from hot surfaces, sparks and adiabatic compression generated by moving parts

Inherent Safety

g

1, 2

2

Prevention of arcs, sparks and hot surfaces in normal operation

Control of Ignition

b

1, 2

2

Automatic/manual ignition prevention measures, to prevent potential ignition sources becoming effective

Pressurization

p

1, 2

2

Excludes the hazardous atmospheres by 50Pa positive pressure of inert gas

Flameproof

d

1, 2

2

Explosion containment, will not allow transmission of an internal explosion to the surrounding environment

Liquid Immersion

k

1, 2

2

A type of protection in which potential ignition sources are made ineffective

Flow Restriction

fr

2

3

Flow restricting enclosures are simple enclosures, which will prevent, with adequate probability, the atmosphere inside the enclosures becoming explosive


Application methodology

The Protective measures shall be considered or applied in the following order

Ensure ignition sources can not arise (protection concept c)

Ensure ignition sources can not become effective (protection concept g and b)

Prevent explosive atmosphere reaching ignition sources (protection concept fr, p and k)

Contains the explosion and prevent flame propagation (protection concept d)

 
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