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Baseefa Publication DS59 - July 2011

IEC 60079-0:2011 - The Differences and the Consequences


The sixth edition of IEC 60079-0 was published in June 2011, updating a number of aspects of the fifth edition published in 2007. The European version is not yet published but, when it is, it will supersede the 2009 edition of EN 60079-0 which was technically identical to the IEC version of two years earlier. The non-coincidental publication of IEC and EN versions causes a problem as, in accordance with the requirements of the ATEX Directive, manufacturers should always take account of the State of the Art. This usually means using a harmonised standard but, in this case, could mean using the IEC document ahead of publication as an EN. This is particularly important for those who are seeking both ATEX and IECEx documentation for their equipment as the IECEx Product Certification Scheme only allows new certification to the current and the immediately previous edition of the standard. Therefore, from now on, all newly certified equipment will need to be marked with the Equipment Protection Levels (EPLs) first introduced in the fifth edition. The fifth edition was not a significant technical review being, apart from the introduction of EPLs, not much more than an amalgamation of the previous 60079-0 and 61241-0 in order to bring the requirements for explosive dust mixtures into the same standard used for gasses and vapours. However, the sixth edition does make quite a number of significant technical changes. purpose of this briefing note is to highlight the most important: Non-metallic Materials: An alternative qualification for O-rings is permitted to allow easier inter-changeability of parts from different sources. Materials having listings to UL 746C are considered adequate for resistance to UV light without having to perform the specific test in the standard. The clauses on electrostatic properties have been reworked for clarity and alternative criteria added. X marking options have been extended. It is confirmed that electrostatic consideration must be given to both painted and coated metal surfaces. Isolated accessible conductive parts on non-conductive enclosures have a re-specified and significantly more restrictive capacitance test. The

Metallic Materials: Zirconium is now fully recognised throughout as a difficult material for thermite reactions and the X marking solution is extended to Group III enclosures. Special Fasteners: Button-head caps screws are now permitted. Ventilating Fans: A new section has been added at clause 17.1.5 specifically to cover shaft mounted fans that are not part of the cooling system of the motor they are mounted on. The power limit is 5kW. This clause was added in order to permit IECEx certification of such fans but does conflict slightly with the requirements in the harmonised European Standard EN 14986:2007. This clause will be effectively deleted from the EN version as a regional variation when the corresponding EN 60079-0 is published. The main additional consideration, in addition to the requirements that would already apply to a fan cooling its own motor, is the need to take account of rated back pressure. Disconnectors: The absolute requirement for interlocking is mitigated. Plugs and Sockets: The arbitrary voltage and current limits have been removed and replaced by an arc-quenching test. Cell Voltages: The tables of cell voltages have been revised to take into account the latest information. The differences are such that most equipment will be unaffected, but some equipment relying on energy limitation (Ex i and Ex nL), that has been designed to the limit of the safety factors may need to be re-evaluated. Testing Clauses: The impact test on glass has been reduced from three to two samples and the problem of impact test bounce has been addressed by specifying that the weight shall be allowed to come to rest naturally. The difference in the test requirements for service temperature and surface temperature has been clarified. Temperature testing of converter-fed motors has been clarified. An alternative test has been introduced for thermal endurance to heat. The highest damp heat condition of 95C/90%RH can now be replaced by a longer period of exposure at 90C/90%RH. This is a condition which is more easily controlled in the commercially available chambers and should lead to a more consistent set of results between different laboratories. The higher the temperature, the more difficult it is to control and calibrate any condition involving 90%RH. Both conditions are included so that equipment previously evaluated at 95C/90%RH does not need to be retested for compliance with the new standard. The charging test for non-metallic enclosures has been removed. It had been found that the test as given in the previous edition of the standard was not reproducible. Note that a version of the

test remains in EN 13463-1 for non-electrical equipment. This test and other related tests are under investigation by a joint working group of IEC TC31 and IEC TC 101 and a modified version will be published subsequently in IEC 60079-32-2. At this time, it is anticipated that the test will then be referenced from the next edition of IEC 60079-0. Certificates: The differentiation between an equipment certificate and a component certificate has been clarified, including for the first time the requirement for a component certificate to include a Schedule of Limitations as distinct from the Specific Conditions of Use required by a certificate with X marking. The term Specific Conditions of Use was introduced at the 5th edition in contrast to the previously used Special Conditions for Safe Use as it was felt to more nearly convey the intent. Marking: Clarification of the marking for multiple Temperature Classes, with T6 T4 being an example of the preferred method. Additional marking requirements for converter-fed motors. Removal of the IP marking for Group III equipment as the IP can be inferred from the sub-group. Instructions: Additional specific requirements for electrical machines and ventilating fans.