Magnets and ATEX
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 2014/34/EU (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 usually 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.
Prevent dust explosions
Preventive measures against dust explosions
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).
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.