Recently there are some clients come us for inquiring ATEX radio and Intrinsically Sate radio, here we introduce briefly about it.
Q: What is ATEX radio or Intrinsically Safe radio?
A: ATEX radio or Intrinsically Safe radio are usually used in environments that can be hazardous or volatile, in workplaces such as oil refineries, chemical processing plant, manufacturing facility, grain elevators etc. where dangerous can be caused by unintentional ignition of flammable gases, mists and vapours or by combustible dust etc. Normal radios used in these environments may cause severe consequences so taking safety as a priority, workers on these jobs need secure, reliable two way radios.
Intrinsically Safe radio means the radio is safe to use in hazardous environments where the presence of a potential spark, heat or flame could potentially create a safety hazard like in working site of oil rigs and refineries, gas mines, coal mines, chemical factories etc.
Q: From the description I cannot tell the difference of an ATEX radio and IS radio, what’s their difference?
A: Intrinsically safe is low energy signaling technique that ensures the safe operation of electrical equipment in hazardous area by limiting the energy ( both electrical and thermal ) available for ignition.
The ATEX directives are mainly relevant for industry, environment or application that found to be at risk of explosion. So it mainly refer application in explosive atmosphere.
Q: Is there international standards for ATEX radio and Intrinsically Safe radio?
Yes, in 2003 EU released directives to protect employees from risks in areas with an explosive atmosphere:
The ATEX 95 equipment directive 94/9/EC, Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres
The ATEX 137 workplace directive 99/92/EC, Minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.
Though there are new ATEX directives in 2004, we noticed that the documents from our clients are still with requirements of 94/9/EC.
The standards include directives in different atmospheres with zone classification from Zone 0 to Zone 22 and corresponding frequency, equipment, equipment groups and category, area of application, level protections etc.
As to Intrinsically Safe radio, usually clients require the products with Factory Mutual, TIA, or CQST certificates etc.