Harsh and Hazardous Location lighting Manufacturer
[email protected]     +86-25-85508029

Types of protection (IECEx & ATEX)

  • May 23, 2017
  • By : Admin
  • Events & News

To ensure safety in a given situation, equipment is placed into protection level categories according to manufacture method and suitability for different situations. Category 1 is the highest safety level and Category 3 the lowest. Although there are many types of protection, a few are detailed


Ex Code







Equipment construction is such that it can withstand an internal explosion and provide relief of the external pressure via flamegap(s) such as the labyrinth created by threaded fittings or machined flanges. The escaping (hot) gases must sufficiently cool down along the escape path that by the time they reach the outside of the enclosure not to be a source of ignition of the outside, potentially ignitable surroundings.

Equipment has flameproof gaps (max 0.006" (150 um) propane/ethylene, 0.004" (100 um) acetylene/hydrogen)

IEC/EN 60079-1

Zone 1 if gas group & temp. class correct

Motors, lighting, junction boxes, electronics

Increased Safety


Equipment is very robust and components are made to a high quality

IEC/EN 60079-7

Zone 2 or Zone 1

Motors, lighting, junction boxes

Oil Filled


Equipment components are completely submerged in oil

IEC/EN 60079-6

Zone 2 or Zone 1


Sand/Powder/Quartz Filled


Equipment components are completely covered with a layer of Sand, powder or quartz

IEC/EN 60079-5

Zone 2 or Zone 1

Electronics, telephones, chokes



Equipment components of the equipment are usually encased in a resin type material

IEC/EN 60079-18

Zone 1 (Ex mb) or Zone 0 (Ex ma)

Electronics (no heat)



Equipment is pressurised to a positive pressure relative to the surrounding atmosphere with air or an inert gas, thus the surrounding ignitable atmosphere can not come in contact with energized parts of the apparatus. The overpressure is monitored, maintained and controlled.

IEC/EN 60079-2

Zone 1 (px or py), or zone 2 (pz)

Analysers, motors, control boxes, computers

Intrinsically safe


Any arcs or sparks in this equipment has insufficient energy (heat) to ignite a vapour

Equipment can be installed in ANY housing provided to IP54.
A 'Zener Barrier', opto-isolator or galvanic unit may be used to assist with certification.
A special standard for instrumentation is IEC/EN 60079-27, describing requirements for Fieldbus Intrinsically Safe Concept (FISCO) (zone 0, 1 or 2)

IEC/EN 60079-25
IEC/EN 60079-11

'ia': Zone 0 &
'ib': Zone 1
'ic: zone 2

Instrumentation, measurement, control

Non Incendive


Equipment is non-incendive or non-sparking.

A special standard for instrumentation is IEC/EN 60079-27, describing requirements for Fieldbus Non-Incendive Concept (FNICO) (zone 2)

IEC/EN 60079-15
IEC/EN 60079-27

Zone 2

Motors, lighting, junction boxes, electronic equipment

Special Protection


This method, being by definition special, has no specific rules. In effect it is any method which can be shown to have the required degree of safety in use. Much early equipment having Ex s protection was designed with encapsulation and this has now been incorporated into IEC 60079-18 [Ex m]. Ex s is a coding referenced in IEC 60079-0. The use of EPL and ATEX Category directly is an alternative for “s” marking. The IEC standard EN 60079-33 is made public and is expected to become effective soon, so that the normal Ex certification will also be possible for Ex-s

IEC/EN 60079-33

Zone depending upon Manufacturers Certification.

As its certification states

The types of protection are subdivided into several sub classes, linked to EPL: ma and mb, px, py and pz, ia, ib and ic. The a subdivisions have the most stringent safety requirements, taking into account more the one independent component faults simultaneously.