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The new ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU

Tuesday, 1 April 2014 PDF icon The new ATEX directive 2014 34 EU
A great news is going to characterize the law system of the field of equipment that can be used in locations with a potentially explosive atmosphere. On March 29th, 2014, the new ATEX Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The new Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council dated February 26th, 2014, called ATEX 2014/34/EU, concerns the harmonization of the Member States laws concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmosphers. The objective of Directive 2014/34/EU is to ensure the free movement of goods, to which it applies, in the EU. Accordingly, the Directive, based on the Article 95 of the EC Treaty, provides the requirements and procedures for establishing the harmonized conformities.

Explosion-proof or water-proof electrical equipment?

Saturday, 1 March 2014 PDF icon Explosion proof or water proof electrical equipment
Very often, the explosion-proof equipment is confused with water-proof equipment, even in technical environments. This comes from the incorrect belief that it’s possible to avoid an explosion preventing an explosive atmosphere to get in touch with the ignition source (spark, arc or hot spot). This may be partially true if the hazardous substance is a powder suspended in the air, but it’s a misconception if the explosive atmosphere is represented by a gas. This belief may cause an improper use of an enclosure, incorrectly considered as water-proof, in unsuitable conditions to ensure their safety.

"Ex d IIB + H2" method of protection: a valid alternative to IIC

Saturday, 1 February 2014 PDF icon Ex d IIB + H2 method of protection
Over the years, the technicians settled the concept that, for IIC areas, have to be necessarily used junction boxes with cylindrical flame-path, which usually feature a round-shape body and fixed threaded hubs that make more complicated the construction of electrical panel boards. This bias is not exact. If we read the EN 60079-1 standard, paragraph 5.2.7, we find that the flat flanged flame-paths, typical of IIA and IIB enclosures, are not permitted for IIC Group for volumes larger than 0.5 liters only if the explosive atmosphere is characterized by acetylene. Instead, they are allowed in presence of hydrogen. In recent years, therefore, started the production of explosion-proof junction boxes with protection method “Ex d IIB + H2"...

The grounding during loading / unloading operations of trucks

Wednesday, 1 January 2014 PDF icon The grounding during loading / unloading operations of trucks
What justifies the high cost of grounding clamp that, in the common thought, is nothing more than a simple cable that connects a vehicle to a earth plate? In this article, we will explain its operation and the reason its cost. First of all, it’s necessary to analyze what a grounding clamp is and why it’s essential in an area where loading/unloading operation of materials that can cause an explosive atmosphere, such as gasoline, solvents or flammable dust.

Lift trucks rooms for battery charge

Sunday, 1 December 2013 PDF icon Lift trucks rooms for battery charge
Which production company does not have today a lift truck for the internal handling of bulky materials? Now it’s equipment present everywhere. Over the years, the electric-powered lift trucks have replaced older ones with diesel engines. Surely, the benefits for the environment, in terms of harmful emissions, were significant, but who have focused until now on the dangers of the rooms destined to the batteries recharge?

In-depth analysis on Risk Based Inspection

Friday, 1 November 2013 PDF icon In-depth analysis on Risk Based Inspection
In the newsletter of few months ago, we talked about the Risk Base Inspection. After many requests for more information on this topic, we’ll see below, in particular, what it is and what are the benefits of its application in terms of safety and costs. The Risk Based Inspection method (RBI) is used to optimize the frequency of inspections of facilities and equipment. This method was developed from the API-580 and API-581 issued by the American Petroleum Institute and it’s now being used for the management of inspections and maintenance in the chemical and petrochemical plant

The responsibilities in a system installed in a classified area

Tuesday, 1 October 2013 PDF icon The responsibilities in a system installed in a classified area
When we speak about an electrical installation in an area with presence of explosive atmosphere, we have to distinguish different responsibilities attributed to various actors with different skills. The main difference is between the responsibility on the equipment and the liability on the electrical system.

Long time for increased safety LEDs

Sunday, 1 September 2013 PDF icon Long time for increased safety LEDs
The drafters of the ATEX Directive 94/9/EC foresaw it in 1994: the technology would progress much faster than the legislative world, anchored in biblical times for the issuance of a new rule. In that time, they considered the possibility that the accredited laboratories have been able to certify, on their own, the products not prescribed by the regulations because of advanced technology. This proposal, after many vicissitudes, had been rendered virtually unenforceable and, today, we are paying the consequences.

Methods of protection in grain silos

Monday, 1 July 2013 PDF icon Methods of protection in grain silos
As we explained in the previous newsletter of June, the grain silos are a store or a place outside or inside a building, in which are stored food industry products, such as wheat, corn, rice or other similar products. We saw that dusts in suspension can create potentially explosive clouds. Therefore, all electrical and mechanical equipment must be designed, manufactured and maintained in accordance with the specific standards for explosion protection to avoid triggers.

The danger of explosion in grain silos

Saturday, 1 June 2013 PDF icon The danger of explosion in grain silos
The grain silos are a store or a place outside or inside a building, in which are stored food industry products, such as wheat, corn, rice or other similar products. All the loading operations are carried out generally with mechanical means such as pipes, conveyor belts, augers, etc.., through loading inlets placed in the upper part of the silo tower. Once stored, the products are taken from unloading hatchback doors placed in the lower part or they can be collected and transported by means of pneumatic or manual conveying systems. All products of the food industry are made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen, etc.. Therefore, they are combustible and, consequently, able to causing fires and explosions.