ATEX Global has been supplying Atex equipment and protective systems to businesses in the oil, gas and mining industries for over 10 years. Trusted across the world by some of the most recognisable names working within potentially explosive environments, every product we supply is compliant and suitable for the prospective hazardous area application.
ATEX is the abbreviation for “ATmosphere EXplosible”, otherwise known as working environments that are potentially explosive. Such environs can include chemical factories, various manufacturing centres, oil rigs and refineries. ATEX equipment generally refers to explosion-proof electrical and mechanical equipment that is designed to improve the safety of users and has undergone meticulous testing to ensure it can withstand the rigours of these demanding environments.
ATEX covers equipment that satisfies three criteria:
- It must be purposely designed for use within an explosive atmosphere at normal temperatures and pressures.
- The atmosphere may contain gas, vapour, mist or dust as a fuel, but must be based on air as the oxidiser.
- The equipment must have an ignition source in and of itself, such as a spark, hot surface, etc..
The IECEx scheme is controlled by the International Electrotechnical Commission and covers electrical equipment for use in explosive atmospheres. IECEx uses different codes and approvals systems, but also requires detailed information on the product label. IECEx does not currently apply to non-electrical equipment. Many modern devices will carry both ATEX and IECEx approval.
Many modern devices will carry both ATEX and IECEx approval, and so the label will display codes and information
from both schemes. Some of that information is common, some is not. A typical ATEX and IECEx label is shown below.
The ATEX Directive 94/9/EC controls all manufacture and import of equipment for use in explosive atmospheres, including non-electrical items. ATEX requires that the equipment be safe, and bear a label indicating the conditions under which it is approved for use. All ATEX equipment must bear the CE marking. Import, sale or workplace use of equipment without ATEX approval is illegal.