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ATEX Information

The ATEX Directive covers equipment and protective systems, which may be used in areas endangered by potentially explosive atmospheres created by the presence of flammable gases, vapours or dusts.


Scope of the Directive

The ATEX directive has been adopted by the European Union (EU) to facilitate free trade in the EU by aligning the technical and legal requirements in the Member States for products intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The Directive covers equipment and protective systems, which may be used in areas endangered by potentially explosive atmospheres created by the presence of flammable gases, vapours' or dusts. The Directive covers both electrical and mechanical equipment. The Directive covers harmonisation of requirements as well as, conformity assessment procedures.

Differences between old national regulations and new Directives

- Only one directive for mining equipment and other places liable to be endangered by explosive atmospheres.
- The directive indicate safety requirements for equipment intended for use in potentially explosive environment created by the presence of dusts and safety requirements for non-electrical apparatus intended for use in explosive atmospheres.
- It brings the "CE" marking for equipment and protective systems, which may be used in explosive atmospheres.
- It takes the place of national regulations for electrical apparatus. This new directive has a larger scope than domestic standards.

What is a potentially explosive atmosphere?

An explosive atmosphere is defined as a mixture of:
- An inflammable substance (dust, gas, mists, or dusts) (A)
- The oxygen in the surrounding air = always present (B)
- Under atmospheric conditions in which, after ignition has occurred (C), combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture (in the case of fibres, the dust may not completely burn after combustion).

 

Directive implementation

Before April 20th, 2016:

Manufacturer:
- All products placed on the market have to comply with the 94/9/EC directive.

User:
- The user's responsibility concerns a direct use of products depending on areas he has defined and thus depending on risks that might occur. The installation must be in conformity with the European Directives. All products used will have to comply with the 94/9/EC directive. In case of defects, installed products which can not be repaired must be replaced by products in conformity with the 94/9/EC Directive.

 

From April 20th, 2016:

Manufacturer:
- All products placed on the market have to comply with the 2014/34/EU directive.

User:
- The user's responsibility concerns a direct use of products depending on areas he has defined and thus depending on risks that might occur. The installation must be in conformity with the European Directives. All products used will have to comply with the 2014/34/EU directive. In case of defects, installed products which cannot be repaired must be replaced by products in conformity with the 2014/34/EU Directive.

 

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