What is ATEX Approval? Information about ATEX 94/9/EC CE Certification

ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU is a «new approach» directive that applies to protective rules against explosions  which is  equipment used in  explosive atmospheres, for example  electrical and non-electrical equipment, components and safety devices, control and adjustments necessary for the safety of this equipment and protective areas. As a «new approach» directive, the European Directive defines the essential requirements for the safety and health for  all manufacturers.

Devices in scope of the European Directive   shall respond to the essential requirements for the safety and health are identified by a marking plate on which the logo appears.

This Directive requires:

• For products: a type certification, a declaration of conformity and an instruction manual, allowing to affix the  CE marking for ATEX,

• For the manufacturers: a quality assurance system audited annually by a notified body, and the appointment of an authorised person called the Ex-Proof responsible person.
Main standards applied
• IEC/EN 60079-0: Products for use in explosive gas atmospheres – General rules
• IEC/EN 60079-1: Explosive atmospheres – Part 1: Equipment protection by flameproof enclosures “d”
• IEC/EN 60079-7: Explosive atmospheres – Part 7: Equipment protection by increased safety “e”
• IEC/EN 60079-31: Explosive atmospheres – Part 31: equipment protection against ignition of dust by enclosure “t“.


There is voluntary certification international scheme: IECEx.
 Aim is to facilitate the international flow of electrical equipment intended to be used in potentially explosive atmospheres and this avoiding multiple national certifications and at the same time ensuring an appropriate level of safety. The IECEx certification scheme allows the manufacturers of “Ex-proof” equipment to obtain a CE Certificate of Conformity that would be accepted in EU Countries.

How is an explosive atmosphere categorized?

Explosive atmospheres are atmospheres that develop explosively according to altering surroundings..  Explosive atmospheres consist of air and combustive material such as gases, vapors, dusti flour.. Typical production sites where combustible dust is of major problem is in, for example, the handling of cereals, animal feed, paper, wood, chemicals, plastics, flour, cement and coals.

How should explosive atmosphere zones be specified?

The ATEX directive define between two types of explosive atmospheres: gas and dust.  Areas within these two kinds of explosive atmospheres are each divided into three sub-zones ;

Zone 0, 1 and 2 refer to gas and Zone 20, 21 and 22 refer to dust.

Zone 0 / 20: Constant danger
Permanent presence of explosive gasses or combustive dust. 

Zone 1 / 21: Potential danger
Occasional presence of explosive gasses or combustible dust during normal duty.

Zone 2 / 22: Minor danger
Presence of explosive gasses or combustible dust is not likely to occur or only for a shorter period of time.

Flameproof Enclosure – An enclosure used to house electrical equipment, which when subjected to an internal explosion will not ignite a surrounding explosive atmosphere.

Intrinsic Safety – A technique whereby electrical energy is limited such that any sparks or heat generated by electrical equipment is sufficiently low as to not ignite an explosive atmosphere.

Increased Safety – This equipment is so designed as to eliminate sparks and hot surfaces capable of igniting an explosive atmosphere.

Encapsulation – A method of exclusion of the explosive atmosphere by fully encapsulating the electrical components in an approved material.

Powder Filling – Equipment is surrounded with a fine powder, such as quartz, which does not allow the surrounding atmosphere to come into contact with any sparks or hot surfaces.

Non-sparking – Sparking contacts are sealed against ingress of the surrounding atmosphere, hot surfaces are eliminated.

Special Protection – Equipment is certified for use in a Potentially Explosive Atmosphere but does not conform to a type of protection listed above.


TESTPLUS providing service for ATEX CE Certification and tests with experienced engineering team.

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