When does it happen that a product is entitled to be marked ATEX? This is an acronym that encapsulates a world of information; in fact, ATEX systems can only be defined as such if they meet very specific requirements. Let us see below what they are.
What ATEX means
Let’s start with the meaning of ATEX. It is an acronym: ATmosphères EXplosives. The term refers to Directive 2014/34/EU, which is a standard also known as the ‘ATEX Directive’ that covers equipment that must be operated in a potentially explosive atmosphere. For this very reason, these devices must mandatorily be designed and manufactured in such a way that they do not present causes of danger in these particular atmospheres i.e., potentially explosive.
How ATEX systems are classified
The ATEX directive applies to all equipment that is to be used in an explosive environment. The classification, for this equipment, is based on different factors:
- The environment in which they will be used
- What substances may result in an explosive atmosphere
- What level of protection is provided by the equipment
The groups to which ATEX systems belong
To classify ATEX systems, the first level of distinction is made on the group to which the equipment belongs. To be observed is the environment in which the equipment in question will be put into action.
- Group I: all equipment and machinery that is used in mine work, which includes both underground and those in surface installations. The explosion hazard, in environments such as these, is determined by the possibility of combustible dust or gases being present.
- Group II: all equipment and machinery that are used in environments other than those mentioned in Group I, but still present a real explosion hazard.
How do you get ATEX certification?
How is ATEX certification obtained? Through a precise conformity assessment procedure, which must mandatorily be completed before the equipment is put on the market. For example, it is necessary to fill out various forms and take examinations or inspections, which vary according to the potential hazard. The regulations mention the many causes that can constitute a hazard: for example, flames, gases, sparks of mechanical origin, electrical material, static electricity, lightning, radio frequency electromagnetic waves…
A complete ATEX system neutralizes all these ignition sources and thus constitutes complete protection-through various precautions involving compliance with specific standards and technical precautions. A safe environment includes the safety of both the workplace and the operators in charge: this is the only way to ensure working in total safety. At Elettromeccanica Bonato, we design certified ATEX systems; by choosing our products, you are guaranteed to put safety first.
An example of an ATEX system
Elettromeccanica Bonato produces ATEX systems so that all operators can work safely even in explosive environments. One example is the EX-ABSL-RC, an antistatic bar with ATEX certification. This bar is very efficient in removing electrostatic charges, and it is designed to be installed in machinery working at high speed.
Inside the PVC core of this device, the electronic components are impregnated with epoxy resin: this ensures maximum safety and reliability, as well as long product life over time. Special high voltage resistors are used to connect the emitters; this ensures that in case of accidental contact by operators, there is no risk of injury. In addition, this antistatic bar is equipped with a slot into which M6 screws can be inserted for attachment.