Device Groups for More Safety

Like the devices, gases, vapors, and dust are divided into various groups according to their properties. This division simplifies the right selection of devices for the various gases, vapors, and dusts.

Until the standard EN 60079 0:2009 was introduced, devices permitted in hazardous zones were divided into two groups. Since it came into force, it has been three: groups 1, 2 and 3.

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Dividing the Device Groups

  • Group I: Devices for mines susceptible to firedamp.
  • Group II: Devices for use in area subject to gas explosion (not mines)
  • Group III: Devices for use in areas with flammable dust (not mines)

The electrical devices of Group II are also subdivided into the groups IIA, IIB, and IIC, depending on the type of atmosphere subject to explosion. This assignment affects the ignition protection types pressure-proof encapsulation (Ex d) and intrinsically safe (Ex i).

Devices for areas with flammable dust are also subdivided into the following groups depending on the type of dust:

  • Flammable lint
  • Non-conductive dust
  • Conductive dust

Device Division

GroupGasMaximum experimental safe gap MESGMinimum ignition current MIC
IIAPropane> 0.9 mm> 0.8
IIBEthylene0.5 … 0.9 mm0.45 … 0.8
IICHydrogen< 0.5 mm< 0.45

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Zone Divisions

Depending on the type of materials that occur, hazardous locations are not equally at risk. The frequency and duration of occurrence of one of these substances give rise to the different protective requirements for operating equipment.

Directives, Standards and Regulations

The requirements for electrical equipment for hazardous locations are multi-layered: National and international determinations, guidelines and standards must be complied with to achieve the highest possible level of safety. We give you an overview of the most important regulations and recommendations, such as the ATEX directive.

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