Explosion-proof fans and blowers are specifically designed for potentially hazardous areas where flammable or combustible materials are present in the atmosphere.
A hazardous area or location could be any area that poses a risk of fire or explosion, due to a flammable or combustible liquid, dust or gas that is within the atmosphere or is being conveyed. This could include a fine powder, such as flour, which can be highly combustible, or a highly volatile gaseous compound such as methane or hydrogen gas. If electrical equipment is also being used, this makes the risk of fire or explosion even greater.
Explosion-proof fans can be found in almost any industry across the full range of industrial applications and are designed to not just fail to combust, but more specifically if the fan or blower does combust, it should be able to endure the explosion without any external cracks to the product.
What is ATEX / IECEx?
Initially introduced in 1994, the ATEX Directive became law within the UK in 1996. It governs the protective systems and equipment in explosive environments and this essential health & safety requirement is known more specifically as ATEX 2014/34/EU but is commonly referred to as the ATEX Directive which is now EU law.
Nowadays, any equipment, electrical or mechanical, for installation within the EU member states must comply with the standard where there is a risk of explosion. As such, the ATEX Directive is a legal prerequisite for selling within the European Economic Area. However, the IECEx standard gives maximum international acceptance and, if feasible, customers can elect to have certificates for both schemes issued at the same time.
IECEx is a voluntary system which provides an internationally accepted means of proving compliance with IEC standards. IEC standards are used in many national approval schemes and as such, the IECEx certification can be used to support national compliance, removing the need in most cases for additional testing. CSA Group provided the accreditation service for this ACI project.
How can ACI help?
ACI’s adherence to the ATEX directive has over the years led to high-specification, offshore applications and other hazardous environment applications, and we continue to provide innovative and effective solutions to an increasingly Global customer base.
As an industrial fan has a moving part (the impeller) and an electrical power supply (the motor), these products were specifically identified as a potential source of ignition, and today, there is a standard set of guidelines around the manufacture of fans being used in hazardous areas.
At present, ACI manufactures industrial fans to Category 2G (Zone 1-gas), or 2D (Zone 21 – dust) and Category 3G (Zone 2-gas) or 3D (Zone 22-Dust).
ACI’s ATEX fans can be manufactured using Stainless Steel, Mild Steel, Aluminium and Plastic and our team of design engineers will select the right material depending on the substances present in the atmosphere.
All ACI ATEX fans are thoroughly tested and assessed to make sure the design features meet all necessary requirements of the following standard: BS EN 14986:2017 Design of Fans working in potentially explosive atmospheres, BS EN ISO 80079-36:2016 & BS EN ISO 80079-37:2016 – Non-electrical equipment for use in explosive atmospheres.
- Flow rates up to 200,000 M³/hr
- Pressure up to 150mBar
- Motors Including:
– Increased Safety Motors (EExe)
– Flameproof (EExd)
– Non-Sparking (Ex N)
– 1Ph or 3Ph versions
– Others available upon request
- Voltage and Special Paints to suit
- Fan-case options:
– Aluminium, Mild Steel, Stainless Steel (304, 316, 316L, 316TI)
– Powder coated, offshore surface finish or paintbond 550 (aluminium options).
Typical applications for ACI’s ATEX rated fans are any in which there is potential for explosive substances being present in the environment or in the air stream. Some more common examples would be hydrogen fumes from battery charging areas, methane gas in a water processing plant and process powders within the petrochemical, oil and gas and pharmaceutical industries, all over the world.
For special needs, ACI can design a custom package utilising special blowers for any application where dirt and contaminant free air is required.