Devices for use in explosive atmospheres.
The ATEX directive consists of two EU directives describing what equipment 2014/34/UE and work environment (99/92/CE) is allowed in an environment with an explosive atmosphere.
The Directive 2014/34/UE is oriented to the manufacturer; it is specifically related to the Machinery Directive and includes some specific requirements aiming at avoiding risks from potentially explosive atmospheres (while the Machinery Directive includes only general requirements concerning safeties for protection from explosions).
The Directive 2014/34/UE sets out the basic safety and health requirements concerning non-electric devices intended for use in potentially explosive atmosphere, and the equipment intended for use in potentially explosive environments due to the presence of dust, as well as protective systems and devices intended for working out of explosive atmosphere, which are useful or essential for safe functioning of the equipment.
The Directive defines the obligations of manufacturer who puts products onto the market and/or puts them into service. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to verify whether its own product is within the requirements of the Directive 2014/34/UE.
In order to verify whether a product is suitable for operating in potentially explosive environments, the manufacturer has to carry out the so-called ATEX Analysis.
He shall consider a series of possible sources of ignition in the environment where his own products are placed and feature the devices so that they cannot be a source for ignition.
Therefore, the manufacturer shall consider:
- The atmosphere where the product is placed; moreover, according to the zones, the devices shall be properly protected by suitable protective systems.
- Potential ignition sources as sparks, part temperature, etc. .
- Electrostatic sources of ignition.
- Storage of light matters as aluminium saw dust, etc…