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ATEX directive


Magnets for applications in explosion-hazardous environments

The ATEX directive (ATEX: ATmosphères EXplosibles) is a harmonized European standard intended to prevent gas and dust explosions. Directive ATEX 94/4/EC (ATEX 95) is for equipment manufacturers. Directive ATEX 1999/92/EC (ATEX 137) is for the users and is intended to protect workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.
The ATEX directives distinguish between gas and dust environments. Goudsmit only makes equipment for use in dust-hazardous environments.

Areas with a risk of explosion are subdivided into various zone categories, depending on the frequency of potentially explosive conditions. We divide equipment suitable for use in ATEX zones into three categories: 1, 2 and 3. These correspond to the protection levels: very high, high and normal.

 

Explosion hazardous environment

Protection level of equipment

Gas (G)

Dust (D)

 

 

Zone

Category

Zone

Category

Frequent to continuous

Very high; safe in exceptional conditions

0

1G

20

1D

Now and then

High; safe for reasonably expected failures

1

2G (1G)

21

2D (1D)

Improbable, infrequent short duration

Normal; safe for normal operation

2

3G (1G, 2G)

22

3D (1D, 2D)

Magnets and metal detectors can be used to help prevent mechanical sparks and the ensueing dust explosions. Please read the article "Prevention of dust explosions in the food industry", chapter 4. Solids processing / Milling and grinding (article by HSE - Health and Safety Executive of British Government).

 

Preventive measures against dust explosions

There are several measures that must be taken to decrease the chance of dust explosions:
  • prevention of mechanical sparks and static electricity;
  • temperature sensing and RPM monitoring on machines;
  • enforcement of low dust concentrations;
  • prevention of dust clouds and dust layers;
  • inertion by powdered additives;
  • inertion by gaseous additives;
  • use of an automatic sprinkler installation;
  • the prevention of smolder and spontaneous ignition.

Mechanical sparks can be prevented by using sieves, magnets and metal detectors on the raw materials. This helps monitor the materials and removes unwanted particles.

 

Goudsmit magnetic systems are ATEX certified

Magnetic systems are often placed in a room where dust explosions can occur. This means that the magnet system itself, of course, also may not be a source of ignition.

An externally certified quality assurance system (ATEX Production Quality Assurance Notification) is required for manufacturers of ATEX equipment. Goudsmit is one of the few companies in the magnet industry to possess this certification. Additionally, product conformity certificates (ATEX certificates) are required for ATEX devices in categories 1 or 2. Goudsmit Magnetics has these certifications for various systems and can therefore deliver magnet systems and metal detectors for use in zone 20/21.

 

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