ATEX stands for ‘Explosive Atmospheres’. These explosive atmospheres often contain a mixture of gas, vapour and dust which can ignite if they’re open to certain conditions.
ATEX, or the ATEX Directive, is a safety certification that provides a certified protection level covering equipment that will be used in potentially explosive atmospheres. This equipment is split under the ATEX Directive into electrical and non-electrical products. Electrical products are required to undergo tests as part of their ATEX certification, whereas non-electrical products can be self-certified. Both electrical and non-electrical products require a risk assessment to determine the level of protection needed, which is then marked clearly on the product which, in our case, is an ATEX Pump. The ATEX assessment defines the conditions of operation, which are split into multiple sub-categories (listed below) to cover the factors that affect an explosive atmosphere.
The first part states the presence of an explosive atmosphere in the environment of the product; this gives the duration and frequency of the explosive atmosphere occurring. Zone 0: When flammable material is present for long periods of time. Zone 1: When flammable material is likely to be found during normal operation. Zone 2: When flammable material is unlikely to be found in normal operation and if it does occur, it will only be for a short time. The applicable zone number is followed by the letters G (Gas) and/or D (Dust) depending on the type of explosive material present.
The second part defines the explosive material. The three groups; I (Firedamp), II (Gas), and III (Dust), are given a letter for the substance that makes up the atmosphere (e.g. Ethylene, IIB). A temperature class or maximum surface temperature is then assigned through the assessment process (e.g. T4 or T135°).
Lastly is the equipment protection level (EPL) that qualifies the product for use in the given atmosphere; a manufacturer assigns this to the product through an exhaustive risk assessment. EPL _c: This is the most basic requirement for products and states that they will be fine during normal operation. EPL _b: The product will be fine under normal operation and standard malfunctions are expected, such as a broken seal or static charge building up. EPL _a: This level is required for high-risk atmospheres. This covers normal, expected and rare malfunctions, and considers multiple failures including compounding issues.
ATEX certification of a product is required within the Industrial Pump Industry when the product is used in a potentially explosive environment. It is mandatory for products sold in the EU to undergo ATEX certification when used in these conditions Hazardous areas such as chemical processing and the paint and varnish industry are likely to utilise an industrial pump in their factories and will, therefore, need an ATEX pump as there is likely to be a mixture of flammable materials in the atmosphere of these factories. The good news is, Tapflo supply a wide range of ATEX pumps! Keep reading for more details.
The centre section of our ATEX rated Diaphragm Pump is fitted with carbon-filled Polypropylene, Aluminium or Cast Iron depending on the application/material required. The carbon-filled centre sections are a different colour due to conductive pigments inside the material, which reduces the surface resistance of the pump and ensures that electrostatic doesn’t build up inside the pump. Our TX range of Diaphragm Pumps and our Guardian System are both ATEX rated to Zone 2. It is crucial that all products within a system hold the same ATEX certification to ensure the environment can be classified as ATEX. Our ATEX Diaphragm Pumps are available in Metal, HDPE and PTFE materials and we also offer our Sanitary and Aseptic Diaphragm Pumps as ATEX rated.
We have several ranges of Centrifugal Pumps that carry ATEX certification. Several Tapflo Centrifugal Pumps are available as ATEX Pumps including:
Tapflo also supplies the following Industrial Pumps available in ATEX:
Whether you’re an end-user proving to the Health and Safety Officer that your pump is ATEX certified or a distributor proving the pump is ATEX to your customer, we’ve got you covered. Simply request your ATEX certificate from a member of the Sales Team and we’ll be happy to organise this for you! Additionally, all ATEX products, including our ATEX Pumps and Guardian System, have to have the ATEX rating visible on the pump. This allows users to see the conditions and protection level applicable to the product.
This visible protection level will also include operating conditions such as the ambient temperature or the medium surface temperature. The protection level will also state the conditions of the atmosphere, for example, whether the flammable material is gas or dust. These are the most common types of conditions involved with ATEX Pumps and therefore, the majority of Tapflo’s Industrial Pumps are ATEX certified to cover both. If you’re interested in getting an ATEX rated pump, call Tapflo UK today for a quote!