Explosion proof light fixtures and lighting in hazardous industrial areas
A high risk or hazardous area (sometimes abbreviated to HazLoc ) is where where fire or explosion hazards may exist due to flammable gases or explosive substances such vapours, mists or dusts. Typical examples of hazardous environments are refineries, drilling platforms, chemical and power-generation facilities, mines… In these locations, it is required to ensure safety against occurrence of arcs, sparks and excessive temperature.
Explosive atmospheres are not only found in mines or in chemical and petroleum industries: the use of gases, solvents or fluids at temperatures close to their vaporization temperature can make each factory or workshop “explosive”.
Sparks, arcs and overheating caused by motors and electrical equipment in operation can then trigger the disaster.
Industrial lighting must often provide illumination in areas where usual lighting is inadequate. Some factors related to the very nature of the activities carried out have to be taken into account, due mainly to the materials handled and the by-products produced. Whether the manufacturing process deals with the processing of hazardous petrochemicals or relatively benign food products such as food grain, there is always the underlying risk of accidental ignitions of flammable or explosive of materials. An atmosphere saturated with gasoline or solvent vapours can literally turn an enclosed area into a potential bomb capable of releasing enough force to destroy the entire building.
The main way to prevent explosions in such industrial areas is to remove potential ignition sources. Potential ignition sources is anything which has the ability to produce sparks, flame, or otherwise is capable of producing enough heat to ignite any flammable materials which may be present. In industries and facilities, the primary sources of potential ignition are usually electrical, they are numerous, and it is usually impossible to remove from the industrial process. They can be machinery, equipment, electrical switches and controls, or lighting, and they are all necessary for the manufacturing process. They represent potential sources of ignition due to their potential for creating heat, sparks, and even open flame.
Of all the potential sources of electrically caused ignitions, lighting is perhaps the most commonly encountered. No matter the facility, lighting will play an important role in hazardous areas. In order to protect against this potential for ignition, lighting used in hazardous locations must be specially designed and certified by regulators for use in these areas. This type of light fixtures falls into the categories of “Explosion Proof” and plays a critical role in protecting the industrial facilities against catastrophic accidents. Airfal is a manufacturer of safe explosion protection lighting for use in hazardous areas and harsh environments, which are fully certified.
Explosion proof fixtures provide protection by preventing any ignitions within the fixture from igniting the atmosphere outside of the fixture. Explosion proof luminaires are not fully sealed, but they have the ability to prevent the ignition of the atmosphere outside the light fixture should it contain flammable vapors, gases, or combustible dusts, whereas in a standard light fixture, the bulb, contacts, wiring, and any switches are all directly exposed to the local atmosphere. The spark from a loose contact or the movement of the switch and even the heat of the bulb can be a danger.
Explosion proof and intrinsically safe lighting
All electrical equipment certified for hazardous locations can either be certified as explosion-proof or intrinsically safe. The objective is similar, it is designed to avoid igniting the flammable materials. However, the approach is different. Explosion-proof lights are conceived to resist an ignition of the flammable material that happens inside the light itself, whereas intrinsically safe luminaires are conceived to avoid any spark that could ignite the flammable material, to low current.
Airfal has a large range of light fixtures for hazardous, including LED light fixtures which are environmentally friendly and offer energy efficiency and light control for difficult and harsh locations:
PYROS BLOCK is an explosion proof light fixture made of polycarbonate cover and aluminium ends with great mechanic strength. This luminaire has an emergency kit that allows the luminaire to continue to operate even when there is no power.
SECURE is an ATEX tubular light fitting which is IP68 protected. This allows a total protection against dust and against water penetration during a long time. Impact protection is IK10, the best protection degree available for a luminaire. SECURE is specifically designed for ATEX 2 and 22 zones, and is adequate for places where occasionally may appear dust or atmosphere potentially explosive, but never as usual condition.
MINEX is designed for lighting in mining applications and underground spaces where a firedamp my occur. It can also be used in other industrial facilities, indoor, outdoor or under shelter.
LUMEX: Light fitting designed for industrial space lighting that are NOT mines, especially places with very high ceilings.
VITRA LED: explosion proof light fixture made of borosilicate tempered glass cover and aluminium ends. This light fitting is designed in order to obtain resistance against chemical products such as hydrocarbons or other chemical products that are aggressive against polycarbonate. This is achieved by using a tempered borosilicate glass tube.
WATEX is an ATEX luminaire for Zone 2-22, certified for areas at risk of explosion. This LED luminaire has IP66 protection, so it is dust resistant and is also protected against strong water sprays. It is perfect for use in hazardous areas classified as Zone 2-22 by experts. Protection “nR”.
FLAME has been designed to operate in environments in which an explosive atmosphere can be formed or can be present according to ATEX 94/9/CE directive, through the combination of Improve Security Protection “e” for gases and “tb” body protection for dust. Furthermore, the combination of M1 non flame propagator polycarbonate, as well as antistatic additives in the cap plastic makes it perfect for areas with explosion or fire risks.
Contact Airfal today, and we will help you finding out the right explosion proof light fitting.