ATEX is the formal name given to the two European Directives for controlling explosive atmospheres. We take an in-depth look at ATEX Approval and its requirements for equipment in hazardous areas.
An explosive atmosphere can be caused by a variety of substances chemicals in the air, such as flammable gases, mists or vapours or by combustible dust. If enough of a flammable substance is mixed in the air, then an ignition source (even a simple spark), can easily cause an explosion.
A wide variety of workplace environments are likely to contain explosive atmospheres, with some more hazardous than others. Examples of high risk areas include gas and petrochemical plants, paint and chemical manufacturers and users, petrol stations and workplaces handling fine organic dusts such as grain flour or wood.
'Intrinsically Safe' is the name given to equipment designed for use in hazardous environments / explosive atmospheres. Due to the high levels of combustible substances in these areas, it is essential that any equipment used is guaranteed not to cause a spark or reach a high temperature (which could easily ignite the explosive atmosphere causing an explosion).
ATEX is the European certification given to equipment tested and approved to be intrinsically-safe.
There are two European Directives in place for the control of explosive atmospheres:
If a product / piece of equipment has official ATEX certification, it has been fully tested and approved to be safe to use in hazardous / explosive atmospheres. ATEX approved equipment must show the official 'Ex' logo shown here.
Volt Stick provides the industry's only ATEX-approved and IECEx-approved, intrinsically safe non-contact instant voltage testers.