Basics of Non-Sparking Tools: Ex Zones

by Andy on December 10, 2012

CS Unitec Non-Sparking Aluminum-Bronze EX1503 SocketWhen you look at non-sparking tools, the most important piece of information is where they can be used. The general method relies on the EU ATEX Directive 94/9/EC, which established a classification system for areas with combustible, flammable, or hazardous materials. There are two main sections to the Ex zone classifications that are laid out in the ATEX directive, one for gasses, mists, or vapors, and one for dusts.

In the gas, mist, or vapor categories there are zones 0, 1, and 2. Each zone refers to an area where flammable gasses, vapors, or mists are present. Zone 2 is the least dangerous, where any flammable gasses, vapors, or mists are unlikely to occur, and if they do they only persist for short periods. Zone 1 is if they occasionally occur in normal operation, and zone 0 is where they occur for long periods, either frequently or continuously.

The dust categories are very similar, but are numbered zones 20, 21, and 22. These refer to areas with combustible dusts, and the frequency of the dusts in zones 20, 21, and 22 match zones 0, 1, and 2 respectively.

Have any more questions on non-sparking tools? Leave a comment below! Also, be sure to come back next Monday for another article on non-sparking tools.

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