ATEX-Certification: Operate roots pumps safely in EX-Zones
Many vacuum applications in the chemical, pharmaceutical and technical gas industries take place in explosive atmospheres.In the EU, the ATEX directives were put into place in order to minimize the risks that these applications may represent for personnel and plants. The word ATEX is an acronym of the French title of Directive 2014/34/EU: ATmosphères EXplosibles.
Since 2003, there are two ATEX directives, Directive 2014/34/EU (also known as ATEX 95) and Directive 1999/92/EC (or ATEX 137). ATEX 95 defines the general health and safety requirements for equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres. ATEX 137 specifies the „Minimum requirements for improving the health and safety protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres“ (Directive 1999/92/EC, p. 1).
The connections between these two directives are shown in Figure 1. Accordingly, ATEX 95 is relevant for manufacturers of vacuum pumps, whereas ATEX 137 applies to operators who use the equipment in their systems or processes.
The first step is to analyze potential ignition sources. In accordance with the CE label category, potential ignition sources relating to the conditions of normal operation (category 3), expected failures (category 2) and rare failures (category 1) must be considered. The next step is to prevent these ignition sources from taking effect.
Read more about this state of the art technology in the attached application report.
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Fig.1: Responsibilities for the explosion protection in potentially dangerous atmospheres