With over 40 years' experience in dosing equipment in numerous industrial sectors, Dosatron is further able to meet its users' specific needs with its ATEX Industry Line which satisfies the requirements of ATEX regulations.

What is ATEX ?

An explosive atmosphere, or ATEX, is characterised by a mixture of air and flammable substances in the form of gases, vapours, mists or dusts in which, after ignition has occurred, combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture.
An explosive atmosphere is ""an atmosphere likely to become explosive in consequence of the local and operational conditions".
In order to explode, the explosive atmosphere must contain a combustible mixture and an ignition source (spark, flame, etc.).

Where can one find an ATEX ?

The risk of forming an explosive atmosphere (ATEX) is not limited only to chemical or petrochemical industries. Virtually all sectors of activity (agribusiness, metallurgy, and the pharmaceutical, transformation, and recycling industries, etc.) are likely to have ATEX zones.
Here are a few examples to help you better understand the phenomenon:

  • Mines: Airborne dust resulting from tunnel drilling activity.
  • Transformation of metals: potentially explosive metal dusts are generated during machining and surface treatment operations (polishing).
  • Paint shops: overspray from spray guns in paint booths is capable of forming an explosive atmosphere.
  • Waste recycling: flammable gas and/or liquids or even dusts from paper or plastic contained in drums and other non-empty containers
  • Wood transformation: machining of wood parts, producing wood dust capable of forming explosive dust/air mixtures in filters or silos, for example.
  • Food industry: Explosive dust forming during the transport and storage of grain or sugar in human food and animal feed industries. ATEX risk in filters.

Regulatory framework

Since the 1990s, in Europe, the obligations of enterprises (i.e. plant manager or equipment manufacturer) have been governed by two European directives:

  • the requirements aiming to improve the health and safety protection of workers potentially at risk from exposure to explosive atmospheres (Directive 1999/92/EC of 16 December 1999),
  • the requirements for protective devices and systems intended for use in a potentially explosive atmosphere (Directive 94/9/EC of 23 March 1994). This directive will soon be replaced by Directive 2014/34/EU (applicable from 20 April 2016), intended to harmonise legislation among member states.

Directive 1999/92/EC

This directive outlines the responsibilities of employers and sets out the minimum requirements for improving the health and safety protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres
Among other things, it defines zones based on the frequency and duration of the occurrence of an explosive atmosphere.

In every company, the plant manager is responsible for evaluating the risks present at the site, and the implementation of the appropriate equipment in each zone identified..


Directive ATEX 1994/9/EC

This directive outlines the responsibilities of manufacturers and sets out the minimum requirements for equipment and protective systems intended for use in explosive atmospheres.
It defines an equipment classification based on the type of industry, the type of ATEX and the zone where the equipment must be installed.


Temperature classes for gases

Each component of a gas-type explosive atmosphere has its own specific auto-ignition temperature.
The temperature classification defines the maximum temperature reached, for all or part of the surface of a device installed in the ATEX zone, under the most unfavourable operating conditions.
The lower the ignition temperature, the more dangerous the substance.


Temperature classes for dusts

In the same manner as gas-type explosive atmospheres, dust-type explosive atmospheres are classified in 3 categories based on the size of the dust particles.
The smaller the dust particles, the more dangerous the substance.



ATEX product marking

In compliance with Directive 94/9/EC, all products intended for use in an explosive atmosphere must bear a certain amount of information enabling it to be clearly identified.



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