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EX Certifications

The manufacture and sale of mechanical and electrical equipment intended to be used within potentially explosive atmospheres is governed in Europe by the ATEX directive 2014/34/EU. This does not just govern the relevant standards for the protection concepts and labelling applied to the equipment but to the quality management system additions that must on place on top of an ISO quality management system. ATEX certificates issued for equipment demonstrate an evaluation and testing process that has been carried out by a third party certification body. This is mandatory for all EX electrical equipment in Zones 0, I and II and non-electrical equipment intended for Zone 0 use. Non-electrical equipment for Zone II can be self-declared against the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU and for Zone I this will require the documentation to be held on-file at a notified body.

Outwith Europe, the IECEx certification scheme is harmonising with the standards laid out by the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU to create an internationally recognised and accepted certification mark. Equipment certified under this scheme can be manufactured and sold on the global market without the requirement for multiple approvals (i.e. GOST, INMETRO).

It is critical to understand the marking applied to EX equipment. The marking is split into three sections:

For this example the proposed marking on the Guardian Zone I CFL will be used.

Ex II 2 GD

This defines the equipment’s area of use where, II is the equipment group, 2 is the category for where the product can be used, GD is to signify the atmosphere of approval (G = Gas, D = Dust).

Ex eb ib mb IIC T4 Gb

This is the certification for gas atmospheres where, eb ib mb are the protection concepts applied, IIC is the gas group and T4 is the temperature classification of the equipment. Gb is the equipment protection level.

Ex ib mb tb IIIC T135 Db IP66/67 -20°C to +40°C

This is the certification for dust atmospheres where, ib mb tb are the protection concepts applied, IIIC is the dust group, T135 is the maximum surface temperature, IP66/67 is the ingress protection rating and the -20°C to +40°C is the ambient temperature that the equipment can be used in.

The downloadable Hazardous Area Guide provides details on the requirements, standards and approval strategy for equipment intended for a potentially explosive atmosphere. The guide also serves as an aid to where certain equipment can be used by cross referencing against the marks applied to approved equipment.

For further information on the ATEX directive 2014/34/EU on equipment and protective systems intended for explosive atmospheres, you can download this from the European Commission.

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