Prevention of explosion hazards with ATEX-compliant products

To avert potential hazards to humans, the environment and processes, the extent of responsibilities and obligations regarding compliance with all regulations and guidelines has steadily increased in recent years. This affects both manufacturers and operators of technical systems, from the initial idea to development, procurement, production, delivery, maintenance and repair.

Mechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic equipment and equipment components can also be considered as potential sources of danger, even if they are “only” used as parts of larger units.

Interface components in particular, such as quick-release couplings, therefore are quickly focused on in terms of preventive hazard aversion.

It is vital to know the mechanisms that cause damage in order to properly prevent and avert explosion hazards and to correctly apply ATEX regulations.

So why do explosion hazards arise?
Explosion hazards arise when handling flammable substances if 3 factors are present: the flammable substance, oxygen and the ignition source.

Explosive hazard zones can form in production and work sites even if only the first two conditions for an explosion are present and if reactive ignition mixtures can form, for example through gasification/leakage or other mixtures with atmospheric oxygen.

These hazard zones are frequently found in chemical factories, refineries, paint factories, paint shops, cleaning plants, mills and storage facilities for grinding products and other combustible dusts, in tank and loading facilities for combustible gases, liquids and solids.

When the third factor, an ignition source, is added, uncontrolled explosions can occur in combination with the corresponding ignition mixture.

Typical sources of ignition

The most common ignition sources are self-igniting hot surfaces (also solar heating) or mechanically generated sparks. In addition, there are a variety of other ignition sources that can be caused by mechanical and/or electrical equipment, as well as open flames, static electricity, ultrasound, lightning or other chemical substances.

Objectives of the ATEX Directive

Avoidance of hazards for employees in the event of an explosion:

  • Burning, injury
  • Shortness of breath, smoke poisoning
  • Consequential accidents, stumbling
  • Damage to the lungs
  • Shock
  • Serious injuries or even death

The ATEX directives, which are valid throughout Europe, stipulate the basic safety requirements for products used in potentially explosive atmospheres and thus ensure the protection of employees.

ATEX conformity: Our solution
WALTHER quick coupling systems comply with the ATEX guideline 2014/34 for device group II, category 2G (gases and vapours) 2D (dusts)). We label all ATEX-compliant quick coupling systems accordingly. For ATEX-compliant products, we enclose the corresponding declaration of conformity with the delivery. We will send this declaration of conformity directly upon request.

Important note: Always observe the operating instructions and information in the accessories pack prior to installation!

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