Hazardous areas outside North America are classified by gas groups and zones.
Zones are used to define the probability of the presence of flammable materials. Groups classify the exact flammable nature of the material.
Protection Types are used to denote the level of safety for the device. Equipment approved receives a temperature code indicating the maximum surface temperature of the equipment.
The zone defines the probability of hazardous material being present in an ignitable concentration in the surrounding atmosphere. Zone 0 Zone 1 Zone 2 Area in which an explosive gas-air mixture is continuously present or present for long periods. Combustible or conductive dusts are present. Area in which an explosive gas-air mixture is likely to occur for short periods in normal operation. Area in which an explosive gas-air mixture is not likely to occur, and if it occurs it will only exist for a very short time due to an abnormal condition.
Different protection techniques are used to address the hazardous zones. Zone Ex d Ex e Ex ia Ex ib Ex o Ex p Ex q Ex m Ex n or Ex N Flameproof (Explosion proof) Enclosure Increased Safety Intrinsically Safe Intrinsically Safe Oil Immersion Pressurized Apparatus (Purged Apparatus) Powder Filling (Sand Filling) Encapsulation Non incentive or/and normally no sparking circuits 1, 2 1, 2 0, 1, 2 1, 2 2 1, 2 2 1, 2 2
Flameproof (Explosion proof) Enclosure
All electrical circuits are enclosed in a house strong enough to contain any explosion or fire that may take place on the inside. are installed in the circuit to limit current and voltage in the hazardous areas to avoid sparks or hot spots under fault conditions.
Hazardous Area Types of Protection
A mixture of air and hazardous gases may ignite by coming in contact with a hot surface. Intrinsically safe barriers. is limited to a level to low to ignite the most easily ignitable mixtures in a hazardous area. temperature and the concentration of the gas. as Zener. Intrinsically Safety The electrical energy available in circuits and equipment. An ignition depends on surface area. Temperature Code T1 T2 T3 T4
842 572 392 275
450 300 200 135
. Equipment for Group II receives a temperature code indicating the maximum surface temperature. Increased Safety Electrical circuits incorporates special measures to reduce the probability of excessive temperatures and the occurrence of arcs and sparks in normal service. Certified equipment are tested for maximum temperature ratings by approval agencies.
Gases and Vapours
Gases and vapours are categorized in terms of their ignition energy or the maximum experimental safe gap (in respect of flameproof protection). dust or fibre. Group I Group IIA Group IIB Group IIC For application in below ground installations (mines) where methane (firedamp) and coal dust may be present. For application in above ground installations where hazards due to ethylene may exist.
Hazardous areas are defined by three main criteria:
The type of hazard The likelihood of the hazard being present in flammable concentrations The (auto) ignition temperature of the hazardous material
The type of hazard (Groups)
The hazard will be in the form of a gas. The automatic ignition temperature can be found in IEC 79-4. For application in above ground installation where hazards due to propane may exist. vapour.T5 T6
The coding is based on a 104 oF (40 oC) ambient temperature. For application in above ground installations where hazards due to hydrogen or acetylene may exist. This categorization leads to the Gas Groups:
Critical Temperature Parameters For Dust Explosions
Electrical equipment are divided into two groups where Group I covers equipment used in mines and Group II covers all other applications. Group II is subdivided into three subgroups where the specific hazardous materials within each group can be found in CENELEC EN 50014.
the likelihood of a flammable atmosphere being present is much lower since it will only occur if the flange leaks. A location very close to an open source of hazard will have a high likelihood of a flammable atmosphere.BACK TO TOP -
The likelihood of the hazard being present in flammable concentrations (Zones)
The likelihood of the hazard being present in flammable concentrations will vary from place to place.) Group IIC is the most severe group. .Mining Group I Methane IIA Propane
Surface Industry Group II IIB IIC Ethylene Hydrogen
(The gases noted in the table are typical gases for each group.
Gases and Vapours
There are three zones for gases and vapours:
. On the other hand. three zones are defined. Rather than work with an infinite range of possibilities. Hazards in this group can be ignited very easily indeed.
Dusts and Fibres (Group III)
Dusts and fibres are also defined in terms of their ignition properties including dust cloud ignition properties. outside a flanged pipe containing a flammable liquid.
There are three zones for dusts:
Zone 20 Zone 21 Zone 22
Dust cloud likely to be present continuously or for long periods Dust cloud likely to be present occasionally in normal operation Dust cloud unlikely to occur in normal operation.typically as a result of a process fault condition. but if it does. Dust layers also need careful consideration in terms of ignition temperature. consideration needs to be given to the
. Because the dust layer can make the equipment under it hotter then normal. The likelihood of the dust layer being disturbed to create a cloud needs to be considered. Equipment for this zone needs to be very well protected against providing a source of ignition.) .BACK TO TOP -
The (auto) ignition temperature of the hazardous material (Temperature Classes)
As well as considering the protection against electrical arcs and sparks igniting a flammable atmosphere.Zone 0 Zone 1 Zone 2
Flammable atmosphere highly likely to be present may be present for long periods or even continuously Flammable atmosphere possible but unlikely to be present for long periods Flammable atmosphere unlikely to be present except for short periods of time . a factor of safety is applied to the layer ignition temperature.
Zone zero is the most severe zone (the highest probability of flammable atmosphere presence). will only exist for a short period
(The presence of dust layers does not automatically lead to the dust zone.
It would not be safe to use equipment marked T3 or T2 or T1as this equipment could exhibit surface temperatures which are hot enough to ignite the hazardous atmosphere. Don't forget that. rather than work with an infinite range. if a hazard has an autoignition temperature of 180°C.surface temperature of equipment. six temperature classes are defined as follows:
T-Class T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6
Hazards which will not ignite at temperatures below: 450°C 300°C 200°C 135°C 100°C 85°C
The bigger the T-number the lower is the temperature. unless the certification documents state otherwise (in which case there will be an addition to the T-Classification code on the equipment label such as T4 (60°C Amb)) the equipment is only certified in ambient temperatures up to 40°C. If the hazardous area in which you are installing equipment has gases or vapours with a low autoignition temperature then you will need equipment with a bigger T-Number so as to ensure that any hot surfaces on the equipment will not ignite the hazard.
. (Most electrical apparatus dissipates some heat!) Flammable materials are categorized according to their ignition temperature. If you expect equipment to be subjected to temperatures above 40°C (such as in direct sunshine or in a roof space) you should install equipment which is certified for a higher ambient temperature. If exposed to higher temperatures there are two possible dangers. The Temperature classification will be marked on items of equipment. First the stated T-Class temperature may be exceeded and secondly safety components within the equipment could fail to an unsafe condition. For example. then it would be safe to use equipment which is marked T6 or T5 or T4. Again.
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Protecting Electrical Apparatus to make it suitable
for use in hazardous areas
Electrical apparatus for use in hazardous areas needs to be designed and constructed in such a way that it will not provide a source of ignition.2 2 1. 1. In addition to the equipment being suitable for the Gas Group and the Temperature Class required. Each type of protection achieves its safety from ignition in different ways and not all are equally safe. There are ten recognized types of protection for hazardous area electrical apparatus....2 1. The different types of protection and the zones for which they are suitable are as follows: For information on equipment marking. 0.2 2 1.2 1.1. the type of protection must be suitable for the zone in which it is to be installed. 2 1. click here to open a new page
Type of Protection for Gas / Vapour Hazards
Equipment Code Ex ia Ex ib Ex ic Ex d Ex p Ex px Ex py Ex pz Ex e Ex m Ex ma
Description Intrinsic safety 'ia' Intrinsic safety 'ib' Intrinsic Safety 'ic' Flameproof protection Purge/pressurized protection Purge/pressurized protection 'px' Purge/pressurized protection 'py' Purge/pressurized protection 'pz' Increased safety Encapsulation Encapsulation
Suitable for zones.2 1.2 1.2
21.22 21.22 21..22 21.22 21. 22 20..22 20.
Types of Protection for Equipment for Dust Hazard Locations
Equipment Code tDA20 tDB20 iaD maD tDA21 tDB21 ibD mbD pD tDA22 tDB22 icD
Description Protection by enclosure Protection by enclosure Intrinsic Safety Encapsulation Protection by enclosure Protection by enclosure Intrinsic Safety Encapsulation Pressurization Protection by enclosure Protection by enclosure Intrinsic Safety
Suitable for Zones.2 1.21.n protection Special protection
1.22 22 22 22
.22 20. 20.BACK TO TOP -
.2 1.Ex mb Ex o Ex q Ex n Ex s
Encapsulation Oil immersion Sand / powder (quartz) filling Type .22 21.2 2 Normally 1 and 2
Equipment complying with European (CENELEC) standards will frequently bear the code EEx (as opposed to Ex) But note that the use of EEx is being phased out for equipment designed and certified to the latest editions of the European Standards.21.21.
have recognised that there may be occasions where it is necessary to increase. Similarly. however. In normal circumstances the effect of these EPLs will be to retain the normal zone/equipment protection relationship. and in particular IEC 60079 Part 14. the IEC Technical Standards in the series IEC 60079.Equipment Protection Levels . then the required EPL for the zone may be increased.EPL
From 2007 onwards.
Equipment Protection Level (EPL) Ga Gb Gc
Normal Applicable Zone(s) 0 (and 1 and 2) 1 (and 2) 2
Equipment Code Ex ia Ex ib Ex ic Ex d Ex p Ex px Ex py Ex pz
Description Intrinsic safety 'ia' Intrinsic safety 'ib' Intrinsic Safety 'ic' Flameproof protection Purge/pressurized protection Purge/pressurized protection 'px' Purge/pressurized protection 'py' Purge/pressurized protection 'pz'
EPL Ga Gb Gc Gb Gb Gb Gb Gc
. the EPL may be reduced from the norm. the risk is considered especially severe. and the EPL awarded to each type of protection. if the risk is deemed to be especially small or negligible. Three Equipment Protection Levels are specified as shown in the table below.the conventional selection criteria between the types of protection and the zone of use. If. above the normal levels. the protection against ignition sources. This concept allows for consideration of risk (ie consequences of an explosion) as opposed to just the probability of a flammable atmosphere existing . The following two tables show the normal relationship between EPL and zone.
Similar numbering will apply for other aspects such as
. (See Useful Links Page) It is important for equipment designers to design to the latest edition of ATEX harmonised standards .BACK TO TOP -
There are various standards which give details of hazardous area requirements. the technical standards for the technology for gas/vapour hazards and those for dust hazards are being incorporated into the same series. the EPLs are as follows:
Equipment Protection Level (EPL) Da Db Dc
Normal Applicable Zone(s) 20 (and 21 and 22) 21 (and 22) 22
. New standards are being introduced at a bewildering rate and it is always worth checking against.n protection Special protection
Gb Gb Ga Gb Gb Gb Gc Refer to equipment marking and documentation
For dust hazards. for example.Ex e Ex m Ex ma Ex mb Ex o Ex q Ex n Ex s
Increased safety Encapsulation Encapsulation Encapsulation Oil immersion Sand / powder (quartz) filling Type . the BSI website.the up to date list can be found on the EC ATEX website. the IEC standards are now parallel voted by CENELEC (Europe). For example IEC 60079-10 covers area classification IEC 6007910-1 deals with gas/vapour hazards and IEC 60079-10-2 deals with dust hazards. (See Useful Links Page) Gradually. In the main.
Part 1: Basic concepts and methodology
Standards for Equipment
ELECTRICAL APPARATUS FOR EXPLOSIVE GAS ATMOSPHERES
Part 0 Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 11 Part 15 Part 18 Part 25 Part 26 Part 27
General requirements Construction and test of flameproof enclosures of electrical apparatus Electrical apparatus . type of protection ‘n’ Encapsulation ‘m’ Intrinsically safe systems Special requirements for construction test and marking of zone 0 electrical apparatus Fieldbus intrinsically safe concept (FISCO)
Standards for Installation etc.
Top level standard
EN1127-1 Explosive atmospheres: Explosion prevention and protection. (gases and vapours)
ELECTRICAL APPARATUS FOR EXPLOSIVE GAS
.type of protection ‘p’ Spark test apparatus for intrinsically safe circuits Method of test for ignition temperature Powder filling ‘q’ Oil-immersion ‘o’ Increased safety ‘e' Construction and test of intrinsically safe and associated apparatus Electrical apparatus for explosive gas atmospheres.installation.
61241-14 (see below) will be replaced by 60079-14-2 [installation for equipment in dust hazards]. The standard number will have an additional suffix 1 or 2.ATMOSPHERES Part 10 Part 14 Part 17 Classification of hazardous areas Installation (and selection) of equipment in hazardous areas Inspection and maintenance of equipment
Note that the 60079 series of standards will gradually address dust hazards as well as gas/vapour hazards. with 60079-14-1 dealing with installations in gas/vapour hazards.
Standards for Dust Hazard Equipment and Installation
IEC 61241 Part 0 Part 1 Part 2-1 Part 2-2 Part 2-3 Part 4 Part 10 Part 11 Part 14 Part 17 Part 18 ELECTRICAL APPARATUS FOR USE IN THE PRESENCE OF COMBUSTIBLE DUST
General Requirements Protection by enclosure ‘tD’ Methods for determining the minimum ignition temperature of dusts Method for determining the resistivity of dust in layers Method for determining minimum ignition energy of dust air mixtures Type of protection ‘pD’ Classification of areas where combustible dusts are or may be present Protection by intrinsic safety ‘iD’ Selection and installation Inspection and maintenance Protection by encapsulation ‘mD’
. Thus. for example.