ATEX Product Certification
Conformity with the ATEX Directive and the UK Regulations is a mandatory requirement to enable products designed for use in potentially explosive atmospheres to be CE marked for access to the European Market and UKCA marked for UK market access.
It demonstrates that the Essential Health & Safety Requirements in the Directive/Regulations have been met through compliance with recognized harmonized/designated standards and, depending on equipment risk category, has been independently verified by a Notified Body/Approved Body.
The technical requirements in the EU Directive and the UK Regulations are identical and will in the following be referred to as ATEX.
ATEX applies to:
- equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres;
- safety devices, controlling devices and regulating devices intended for use outside potentially explosive atmospheres but required for or contributing to the safe functioning of equipment and protective systems with respect to the risks of explosion;
- components intended to be incorporated into equipment and protective systems referred to in point (a).
Specifically excluded from ATEX (because other directives/regulations apply) are:
- medical devices intended for use in a medical environment;
- equipment and protective systems where the explosion hazard results exclusively from the presence of explosive substances or unstable chemical substances;
- equipment intended for use in domestic and non- commercial environments where potentially explosive atmospheres may only rarely be created, solely as a result of the accidental leakage of fuel gas;
- personal protective equipment covered by Council Directive 89/686/EEC;
- seagoing vessels and mobile offshore units together with equipment on board such vessels or units;
- means of transport, i.e., vehicles and their trailers intended solely for transporting passengers by air or by road, rail or water networks, as well as means of transport in so far as such means are designed for transporting goods by air, by public road or rail networks or by water. Vehicles intended for use in a potentially explosive atmosphere shall not be excluded from the scope of ATEX;
- the equipment covered by point (b) of Article 346(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
For both experienced equipment manufacturers and new entrants to this sector the conformity assessment route and process can be complex.
Hazardous Areas (Potentially Explosive Atmospheres) are defined in terms of Zones and Safe Areas under relevant IEC (for IECEx) and EN (for ATEX) standards depending on the expected frequency and duration of an explosive atmosphere being present.
In addition to Zones, Hazardous Areas are further subdivided by Gas or Dust Groups depending on the explosion properties of the gas or dust and Temperature Classes depending on the auto-ignition temperature of the explosive atmosphere.
Equipment for use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres is specified by an Equipment ATEX Category or an Equipment Protection Level or EPL (IECEx) which defines the level of safety of the equipment and the zone in which it is suitable for use.
|Zone 0||An area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is present continuously or for long periods or frequently.|
|Zone 1||An area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is likely to occur periodically or occasionally in normal operation.|
|Zone 2||An area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is not likely to occur in normal operation, but if it does occur, it will exist for a short period only.|
|Zone 20||An area in which an explosive dust atmosphere, in the form of a cloud of dust in air, is present continuously, or for long periods or frequently.|
|Zone 21||An area in which an explosive dust atmosphere, in the form of a cloud of dust in air, is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.|
|Zone 22||An area in which an explosive dust atmosphere, in the form of a cloud of dust in air, is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.|
|Safe or Non-Hazardous Area||An area in which an explosive gas, or dust atmosphere is not expected to be present in quantities such as to require special precautions for the construction, installation and use of equipment.|
The Equipment Category or EPL, representative gas or dust group and temperature class (T Class) are determined by the relevant protection method which is employed.
Technically, the standards and technical requirements used to demonstrate conformity are almost identical for ATEX and IECEx and a product can usually be assessed for both schemes at the same time.
Related Directives, schemes and standards
The following standards define the most common protection concepts which can be used to achieve the appropriate level of protection, gas group and temperature class.
|IEC/EN 60079-0||General Requirements|
|IEC/EN 60079-1||Flameproof||Ex d||2GD Gb Db|
|IEC/EN 60079-2||Pressurisation||Ex p||2GD Gb Db|
|IEC/EN 60079-5||Quartz-filled||Ex q||2GD Gb Db|
|IEC/EN 60079-6||Oil-filled||Ex o||2GD Gb Db|
|IEC/EN 60079-7||Increased Safety||Ex e||2GD Gb Db|
|IEC/EN 60079-11||Intrinsic Safety||Ex I||1GD Ga Da|
|IEC/EN 60079-15||Non Incendive||Ex n||3GD Gc Dc|
|IEC/EN 60079-18||Encapsulated||Ex m||2GD Gb Db|
|ISO/EN 80079-36||General Requirements (mechanical equipment)|
|ISO/EN 80079-37||Constructional Safety||Ex c||2GD Gb Db|
|Control of Ignition Sources||Ex b||2GD Gb Db|
|Liquid Immersion||Ex k||2GD Gb Db|
DNV offers a full scope of evaluation, testing and certification services for both ATEX and IECEx approvals. In addition, DNV can supply pre-evaluation services to assist our customers with gap assessment or understanding of the technical and compliance requirements prior to undertaking and approval project.
We also offer a range of additional Hazardous Area services globally, including services specifically for assemblies of equipment and market access for e.g., USA, Canada and Brazil.
We support with a full scope of ATEX product certification designed for manufacturers who require third party evaluation, testing and certification of their products to demonstrate conformity to the ATEX Directive and UK Regulations.
Our IECEx Certification Body and ATEX (Notified Body nr. 2460) services are issued by DNV Product Assurance AS in Oslo, Norway. The UK Regulations services are issued by the DNV Approved Body nr. 8501, DNV Business Assurance UK Ltd.