ATEX is a commonly used synonym for the ATEX directives of the European Union. The name is derived from the French term “ATmosphère EXplosible”.
Here is an explanation of ATEX and IECEx standards, markings, classification, directive and different zones.
ATEX products are differentiated from standard products by their markings, most noticeably the recognized Ex symbol.
Under The ATEX and IECEx schemes, products are classified and marked to show the areas in which they can be used, and the level of protection employed.
A potentially explosive atmosphere exists when a mixture of air gases, vapours, mists, or dusts combine in a way that can ignite under certain operating conditions.
Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX) cover a range of products, including those used on fixed offshore platforms, petrochemical plants, mines, and flour mills, amongst others.
IECEx is an internationally used process to certify electrical equipment used in hazardous locations. The code defines a system to classify locations potentially explosive atmospheres caused by gases, dusts, or fibers for example. The main goal of the International Electrotechnical Commission IEC with the IECEx regulation is to reach global harmonization of codes governing use of electrical apparatus in hazardous locations. IEC promotes mutual acceptance of evaluations and reports among the testing labs and certifying bodies.
How to specify an ATEX explosion-proof light for your sight glass
The many ratings and standards bodies can be a confusing alphabet soup of acronyms… ATEX, UL, NEC, IEC, IP and NEMA. When is ATEX the right one?
If you are considering an ATEX explosion-proof light for your sight glass, then you already know that a light with an ATEX rating will be safe to operate in a potentially explosive atmosphere.
First, forget about IP and NEMA ratings. Those define housings. For example, a NEMA 4 housing is dustproof and an IP67 housing is temporarily submersible. A good IP rating may help a light achieve ATEX status, as any sparks or points of heat stay inside its well-sealed housing, but it isn’t directly part of an explosion-proof standard.
Second, know which continent your application is on. ATEX is a directive issued by the European Commission, while in the United States the NEC has requirements for explosion-proof ratings that are usually tied to UL test standards. If your company or customers are global, and you want to standardize, then an ATEX rating may be the way to go.
The ATEX directive instructs employers with explosive atmospheres to classify hazardous work areas into zones, and instructs them to use equipment rated for those zones. It also gives guidance to equipment manufacturers about how to design products that can be certified for use on each zone. Note that although NEC and ATEX both use Zones, the NEC breaks protection into Classes and Divisions, and ATEX breaks protection into Groups and Categories.
ATEX is structured like this: Group, Sub-Group, Protection Method, Category, Zone, Temperature Class, and Equipment Protection Level.
Let’s decode the marking of our Lumiglas® ESL-55 Ex, an ATEX-rated explosion-proof sight glass light that is an award-winner and has been one of our best sellers.
The Ex symbol indicates “explosion proof.” This is not an ATEX mark, but you’ll almost always see it on ATEX rated products because ATEX refers to the IEC 60079 standard that covers types of protection. If someone says “explosion-proof,” what exactly does that mean? You need a definition, and that’s what IEC 60079 does, defines how explosion proof is different from flameproof or intrinsically safe, etc. Explosion proof is what you want in a sight glass light.
The II identifies Group II, intended for industrial non-mining applications. Mining has its own stringent requirements, as you might expect.
The 2 means Category 2. Category 2 applies to areas where explosive atmospheres caused by vapors, gases, mists or dust occur occasionally.
The G stands for gases, while D stands for dusts. That’s why there are two rows in the marking: the top row is the rating for explosive gas environments and the bottom row is the rating for explosive dust environments.
The Ex stands for Explosion Proof.
The d refers to the Protection Method defined in yet another standard, EC 60079. The d mark means Flameproof, that the sight glass light isn’t going to provide a flame which could be a source of ignition, primarily because of the light’s sealed housing.
The IIC means that the light is safe to use around hydrogen (the most easily ignited gas). This rating also includes Groups IIA & IIB.
The T6 is a temperature rating, the maximum surface temperature produced during fault conditions at 40°C ambient temperature. The value of T6 is 85°C.
The Gb gives the Equipment Protection Level. These are defined IEC 60079-0:2007. Gb refers to a high level of protection in explosive atmospheres caused by the presence of gas that is not the source of ignition in normal operation or when subject to expected malfunctions.
I’m not going to explain the second row of the marking, as it is similar to the first, but for being about dust.
Although ATEX relies on other standards for some key definitions, and although the definitions can get arcane, specifying the right ATEX sight glass light is not rocket science. If the application is in Europe, then someone there can tell you the Zone and the gases or dusts present. You can look at an ATEX certificate and decode it to make sure you are meeting that requirement.
Sight glass light suppliers like CGM Materials usually offer products that meet general application requirements. Nevertheless, understanding what ATEX means could be helpful to avoid a specifying mistake… a mistake that potentially could have catastrophic consequences.
Parallel to our core competencies, we have established a comprehensive integrated quality management system that is constantly evolving with growing demands.
This is the basis of our success. Our standard is improved day by careful quality planning of development on the production, the Sales to service. Only in this way our products reach the required high reliability, availability and durability – even under difficult conditions. All those participating in the process be integrated into the overarching activities with.
DIN EN ISO 9001
Dekra/Exam according to the ATEX Directive 2014/34 / EU
Click to see the ATEX certificate (PDF)
Click to see the UL ZPVI2 certificate (PDF)
Gost-R Luminaires & Fittings
Click to view the Tost-R-certificate according to Ex luminaires (PDF)
Click to view the Tost-R-certificate according to Non-Ex luminaires (PDF)
Click to view the Tost-R cerfificate according to accessories (PDF)
Lumiglas is orientated toward the future:
- a patented idea with worldwide acceptance.
- observation of process operations.
- the economic way of providing a lighting and inspection port
Regulation (EG) No. 1935/2004
For materials and items intended to come into contact with food:
Our US agent, L.J. Star Incorporated, introduced us to this clip available:
- Wir über uns (Youtube)
- Lumistar Leuchte ASL 57 LED-Ex (Youtube)
- Lumiglas – Meldegerät für den Ex-Bereich M55-BD-Ex (Youtube)
- Papenmeier (Youtube)
Lumiglas® is the global technology leader and number one for luminaires and camera systems in Ex and non-Ex areas.
- Chemical and Pharma industry, Cosmetics
- Petrochemical industry
- Food industry
- Energy producers
- Water utilities and Sewage treatment plants
Die neue BetrSichV auf einen Blick - zum Thema Explosionsschutzanlagen!
The new BetrSichV at a glance - on explosion protection systems watch the video on youtube - link below
As of July 2003, organizations in EU must follow the directives to protect employees from explosion risk in areas with an explosive atmosphere.
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 94/9/EU that is dedicated to the manufacturer has changed. Always applicable up to 19 April 2016 the ATEX 94/9/EC will be removed and replaced by a new directive.
This new ATEX directive was published on Saturday 29 March 2014, under the new reference : Directive 2014/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (recast) Text with EEA relevance – Official Journal of the European Union L 96 from 29/03/2014.
This new ATEX directive 2014/34/EU will be mandatory for manufacturer on 20 April 2016 as is stated in article 44 of the directive.
Promised for a long time, this new ATEX directive has been published together with 8 other directives in the frame of NEW LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK (NLF) ALIGNMENT PACKAGE (Implementation of the Goods Package). It was the subject of a “COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL” for the Alignment of ten technical harmonisation directives to Decision No 768/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 on a common framework for the marketing of products, in Brussels, 21.11.2011 under reference COM(2011) 763 final.