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The use of the grounding system in Ex environments

Monday, 20 February 2017 PDF icon The use of GRD4200 grounding equipment
It happened at least once to all to receive an electrostatic shock getting off the car and touching the door handle to close it. If we are not insulated from the ground (bringing rubber shoes), the static energy accumulated while standing on an insulated car discharges to earth through our body, coming into contact with the ground. 
To prevent this phenomenon, it's possible to add to the car a conductive strip that, being always in contact with the ground, allows to instantly discharged the stored energy, thus avoiding the use of our body as the conduction element.
In potentially explosive atmospheres these phenomena occur during loading and/or unloading operations of vehicles that carry inflammable and explosives products, such as tank trucks for transport by road or LNG carriers for transport by sea.
However, it’s not enough to use a ground connection between the tanker and the ground network system, but it’s necessary to adopt security measures that connect the two systems safely, ensuring the safety of people and the protection of the property.

The use of the sealing fittings in explosion-proof electrical equipment (Ex d IIB, Ex d IIB + H2 and Ex d IIC)

Friday, 20 January 2017 PDF icon The use of sealing fittings in Ex equipment

In electrical equipment in which it’s necessary to have a physical separation for the limitation of the flame passage, such as petrochemical, oil and gas, chemical industrial plants and, generally, in places with a potentially explosive atmosphere and the possible presence of gas and dust, must be used specific limitation devices such as sealed cable glands or sealing fittings.

During the inspection operations of facilities, the sealing fittings have been found too many times not installed as indicated by the manufacturer or not filled with the specific sealant material provided with the sealing fittings or even missing between two adjacent boxes. This is due to the superficiality of the operators in charge of assembly operations, safety supervision and testing.

This carelessness and failure to comply with the manufacturer's requirements will invalidate every product guarantee (and this would be the lesser of evils), involving a huge risk to the safety and functionality of the system, with possible health risks and damage to operators.  Furthermore, it can cause economic damage for the loss of production in case of functional failure and out of order of the equipment.

Hazardous areas with risk of explosion and fire: the carpentries

Monday, 19 December 2016 PDF icon Hazardous Areas: the carpentries

Carpentries are plants of the wood processing, usually consisting of industrial buildings, in which a series of machine tools process the wood, through some different operations such as cutting, drilling, planing, milling and turning.

Such operations, produce both shavings and powders because of the wood features. These scraps are normally carried by the air and can form clouds or layers of powder on the ground. 

Therefore, the production of shavings and powders, during normal working operations, requires the assessment of the possible presence of an explosive atmosphere.

For regulatory issues relating to the health of the workers, all the processing machines should be equipped with air intake systems which, favouring the removal of the most volatile dust from the environment, decreases the danger of explosion in the environment.

Moreover, if in carpentry shops is carried out also the products coating through flammable paints, will be presents the danger of formation of an explosive atmosphere due to flammable vapours.

Cortem Group foundry department:

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Advanced manufacturing technology, product engineering and high quality

Cortem Group boasts a production process handled internally which consists of a foundry, a machine shop, a carpentry department and a washing and painting department. In particular, it’s one of the few European manufacturers of explosion-proof electrical equipment with an internal foundry.

Elfit foundry, a company of Cortem Group along with Cortem, is one of the few in Italy to have three different technologies for aluminium processing available:

  • Die casting
  • Low pressure
  • Chill technology.

In the course of time, Elfit acquired a vast experience in the light alloys transformation process, focusing more and more on the use of the most advanced applicable technologies to the production cycle. On completion, it offers the best expertise in the design and manufacture of moulds, in the maintenance of them and of the equipment in use.

The use of drainage valves in Ex junction boxes

Tuesday, 22 November 2016 PDF icon The use of drain valves in Ex junction boxes

The systems installed in areas with danger of explosion are often placed in zones where the presence of vapours and mists is a constant or very frequent.

Many refineries and several chemical plants, for logistical reasons, are located by the sea and, in addition to salt corrosion problems, which we have often discussed in previous newsletter, they have problems of condensation inside switchboards, junction boxes for terminals and increased safety enclosures.

The flameproof enclosure (EN 60079-1), by their nature, do not guarantee a complete seal to moisture, which penetrates right through the same flanges which, in the case of internal explosion, allow the discharge of the pressure, the cooling and the exit of the burnt gases, thus avoiding the explosion of the junction boxes.

The rapid evolution of LED: more lumens and less actual energy consumption

Monday, 14 November 2016 PDF icon The rapid evolution of LED: more lumens and less actual energy consumption

The continuous evolution of "LED" technology, determined by an increased "luminous efficiency" and the lower consumption in terms of absorption (W), requires a constant updating of technical documentation of LED lighting fixtures by our Research and Development office. This activity was not necessary and frequent for the lighting equipment equipped with traditional gas discharge, filament or incandescent lamps, rather static from the technological point of view.

The Laboratory of Research and Development of Cortem Group “Cortem Lab”: "Highly qualified Structure"

Saturday, 1 October 2016 PDF icon The Laboratory of Cortem Group

The great experience of the Cortem Group is the result of years of research and development of new products keeping up with the new technologies and the needs of a very demanding market in terms of safety. This is strongly revealed in our Research&Development office, where new projects of more innovative, secure and reliable products take shape every day. Safety and reliability are well-rendered in the Research&Development laboratory where all products are tested severely.

Since 2009 Cortem Group has and internal R&D laboratory equipped with all the latest equipment to perform the main tests required for the certification of explosion-proof electrical products. The laboratory is used both to test new prototypes and validate a new project, and to periodically check the products in production as required by Ex Standard.

REVF and REVN series: the correct use of cable glands for conduit pipe coupling

Saturday, 1 October 2016 PDF icon The correct use of REVF REVN series cable glands for connection to conduit pipe

In plant systems often coexist the needs for connections to end users, both directly with cable glands with simple or double seal, and with cable glands for connection to rigid or flexible conduit pipe for mechanical protection to non-armoured cable or to armoured cable exclusively with seal on the outer sheath.

While we already discussed in the previous newsletters of the cable glands with simple or double seal, we didn’t make exhaustive examples of the mounting needs of cable glands for coupling with conduit pipe. 

The cable glands suitable for this purpose are divided into two categories such as:

Do you know LEDs may be damaged if in contact with particular chemicals?

Thursday, 1 September 2016 PDF icon Do you know LEDs may be damaged if in contact with particular chemicals?

During the assembly phases of lighting fixtures, different chemical components such as glues, conformal coating, grease and gaskets are used, which may contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may pollute and damage LEDs, affecting their performance and reducing the lifetime of the product. 

Therefore, testing the materials used in the assembly before the production is important, due to avoid unexpected problems on lighting fixtures already operative.

1. The Test

For this reason, Cortem Group completed a test to evaluate the performance of CREE XT-E LEDs in presence of polluting atmospheres, according to the scheme n. CLD-AP63 Rev 5c published by CREE, relating to chemical compatibility.

The meaning of “U” and “X” characters in the Ex marking

Thursday, 1 September 2016 PDF icon The meaning of "U" and "X" characters in the EX marking

Many information must be reported on the marking plate of equipment and components addressed to hazardous areas which often cause several doubts and also disagreements among technicians and inspections supervisors.

The EN 60079-0 standard brings the general Rules about electrical equipment for explosive atmospheres due to the gas presence.


1. The information which must be reported on the marking plate

As EN 60079-0 standard reports, the electrical equipment must be readable marked on the main side of it.

The marking, which can be represented by a firm plate or by a direct marking upon the device or component's body, must report: