What is Explosion Proof?

International Metal Engineering

The National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, set in place a list of standards in regards to the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment. It is important that these standards are strictly follow when designing products for use in any hazardous applications.  All components installed in hazardous locations will have to meet the criteria set by these definitions in order to ensure the safety of the plant and the personnel.

At IME, we specialise in making explosion proof enclosures and junction boxes. In order to meet the criteria for the explosion proof rating, we ensures that all our enclosures are able to contain any explosions that occur within the housing, preventing any sparks from coming out that can ignite the hazardous environment surrounding it. Being explosion proof doesn’t mean it will prevent any explosion from ever happening, but instead, it is the ability to contain and prevent any internal spark or explosion from causing a much larger blast.

Explosion Proof Testing

Organisations such as CSA groups and FM Approvals mark products that have been tested and conform to the strict standards set by the NFPA. These marks which include ATEX and IECEx, can be used to determine the compliance of the product with the standards.

The product prototype is first sent to a testing laboratory, where the engineers do rigorous testing to fully ensure that the device is explosion proof. If the test is successful, a certificate is granted to the product, and the product will be considered as certified explosion proof, and safe for installation for hazardous applications.

Explosion Proof Method

The explosion proof method is one where the explosion or spark is permitted to take place, but must remain confined in an encased enclosure built to resist the excess pressure and stress created by an internal explosion, thus impeding the propagation to the surrounding environment.

Gases are allowed to escape through any paths or openings that exist in the enclosure during an explosion. These pathways or openings are specifically designed so that any escaping gases will be able to sufficiently cool down as they exit through the openings. This helps to ensure that the gases do not react with the outside environment, causing a larger explosion.

There are other protection methods other than explosion proof such as Intrinsic Safety which limits the amount of power that flows through the hazardous location. It however, cannot be use for all applications, due to the nature of the device. The explosion proof method on the other hand, can be installed for any type of electrical instrument, and is not limited to just low powered units. They are simple and straightforward to wire in, and as such, is a popular choice among operators.

Conclusion

Explosion proof products are vitally important, especially when dealing with hazardous applications or environments. By ensuring your equipment are certified explosion proof, you can be at ease knowing that the safety of your personnel and your plant are pretty much secured.

International Metal Engineering offers a wide range of Ex “d” explosion proof products to cater to your hazardous area needs. You can come to our Contact Page to send in an enquiry, or drop us a call at +65 6353 6506 to find out more about the multitude of explosion proof products we have available.