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Atex standard and regulation

ATEX regulation (Explosive ATmosphere) is a European standard that requires to understand explosion risks in these atmospheres. For this purpose, evaluating explosion risks at work is thus required to identify potentially hazardous areas.

The ATEX regulation consists of two European directives describing manufacturers and users requirements on equipment and work space in explosive atmosphere.

ATEX ZONES DESCRIPTION

ATEX zone category

Description

Gas & Vapor

Dust

1

Area permanently or since a long time containing explosive gas/air (or dust) mixture

0

(20)

2

Area in which an explosive gas/air (or dust) mixture is likely to occur in normal plant operation (occasional risk)

1

(21)

3

Area in which an explosive gas/air (or dust) mixture is not likely to occur in normal plant operation (equipment malfunction)

2

(22)

ATEX EQUIPMENT MARKING

Since July 1st 2003, any new device installed must meet requirements from ATEX regulation. This directive is about installation compliance of a new device in an industrial environment. The marking indicates the equipment compliance and is made of several parts:

Reference code

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

Example

II

1

G

EEx

d

IIB

T6

  • First figure (1) indicates location: I for mines, II for surface industries like chemistry and petrochemistry
  • Second figure (2) indicates ATEX zone category: 1 for zones 0 and 20, 2 for zones 1 and 21, 3 for zones 2 and 22
  • Third figure (3) indicates zone type: G for gas or vapor zone, D for dust zone
  • Fourth figure (4) indicates the equipment standard: E for CENELEC, Ex for CEI (international)
  • Fifth figure (5) indicates safety type: d for explosion-proof, e for enhanced safety, ia or ib for intrinsic safety
  • Sixth figure (6) indicates indicate reference gas (for gas zones): I for methane, IIA for propane, IIB for ethylene, IIC for hydrogen and acethylene
  • Seventh figure (7) indicates surface maximum temperature: T1 = 450 °C, T2 = 300 °C, T3 = 200 °C, T4 = 135 °C, T5 = 100 °C, T6 = 85 °C

Above marking example (table) thus corresponds to an equipment dedicated to surface industry, for zone 0 (gas) that meets CENELEC and CEI standards, explosion-proof, with ethylene as reference gas for a minimum surface temperature of 85°C.

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