Register Here | Login | My Account | Shopping Cart | Customer Service | Search| Items in Cart (0) | Quotes (0)
Call 1-800-369-6671
(Military/Intl Sales - 214-616-6180)

Vast Inventory for Fast Shipping. Custom Builds Available, Rentals and Sales.
Most items in stock for fast shipping!! UPS Ship Map Credit cards & Paypal Accepted
Home - Articles You're NOT logged in, Please log in   

Company Information

Product #:

ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
Industrial Cord Reels and Tool Taps
Industrial Work Area Heaters
Machine Vision Lights
QC Series Industrial Portable Lighting - Quick Change Mount
Rig Lights
Stadium lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Tank Cleaning Lights
Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
Vapor Proof LED Lights
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
Vehicle Mounting Plates
Workboat Light Fixtures & Lighting Equipment
Yacht Engine Room Lights
Color Changing LED RGB Lighting
Explosion Proof Cord Reels
GOLIGHT Spotlights
Larson FUTURE - Lease Lighting
Remote Area Lighting and Scene Lights
Utility Bucket Mount, Receiver Hitch & Trailer Mount Lighting
Aevum Control Lighting and Equipment - IIoT
Butane and Solvent Extraction Room Lighting and Equipment
DC to DC Transformers and Power Supplies
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth Approved Lights
Explosion Proof String Lights
Explosion Proof Switchgear & Controls
Fleet Service Lights and Lighting Equipment
Industrial Equipment Trailers
Industrial Handlamps & Droplights
ISO 14644/FS-209E Clean Room Lighting
LED Blasting Lights
Night Time Fishing Lights
Portable AC Power Supply Units
Portable Power Distribution Panels
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Self-Contained Lighting
Service Pit Lighting
Solar Generators & Solar Powered Lighting
Agricultural Farm Equipment Lighting & Beacons
Explosion Proof Cameras & Surveillance Systems
Explosion Proof Emergency Lights
Explosion Proof Heaters
Garage & Gas Station Canopy Lights
LED Grow Lights
LED Lights
NDT Ultraviolet Lights
Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Radio Communication Towers and Equipment
Salt Water Processing Equipment
Shelter & Tent Lighting
Thermal Monitoring Cameras and Systems
48V LED Equipment Lights
ATEX Rated Explosion Proof Lights
Automotive Lighting
Class Rated Signals, Alarms, and Systems
Hazardous Location Area Lights and Portable Lighting
HID Equipment Lights
Hot Work Permit Lighting and Equipment
Hunting Lights
Industrial lasers
Industrial Transformers
Light Towers
Outdoor Lighting
Remote Security and Surveillance Systems
Temporary Construction Lights
Vehicle Mounted Spotlights
Equipment & Heavy Machinery LED Light Package Fitouts
Phase Converters - Single to Three Phase
Marine Shore Power Cords and Equipment
24 Volt Military Lights
Disaster Relief / First Responders / Search & Rescue Lighting
Plastic Handcuff Key
110/120 Volt Flood Lights
Post Mount Spotlights
Magnetic Work Lights
Crank-up Light Masts
Intrinsically Safe Lights
Military Flashlights
LED Waterproof Lanterns
Work Area Lights
12 Volt Flood Lights
Boat Spotlights
New Boat Lights
HID Boat Lights
Boat Dock Lights
Remote Control Lights
Control Lights
Tow Lights
Magnetic Control Lights
NEW Lights and New Products
Evaporative Coolers
Police Equipment
AC/DC Transformers
Power Supplies
Military Spotlights 24V
Infrared Filters, Covert Covers, and Blackout IR Lenses
Military Equipment
Ultralife Batteries
Remote Control Pan Tilt Base
Larson Electronics Spotlights
Larson Electronics Parts
Replacement Lamps
Cords - Brackets
Portable Wheeled Generators
Non-Hazardous Location Extension Cords / Plugs / Outlets
HID Work Lights
HID Dive Lights
HID Off Road Lights
Acro Lights HID Lights
Halogen Lights
Acro Light Flashlight
Xenon HID Flashlights
Powerlight Flashlight
HID Flashlights
Xenon Flashlights
LED Status Lights
Forklift Lights
Tractor Lights
HID Post Mount Lights
Roof Mount Lights
Post Mount Light parts
Flashlight Holder
Magnet Spotlight Base
Tripods-Magnetic Base
Recharging Spotlights
Fire Rescue Lights
LED Street Lights
Utility Lights
Hazard Lights
Strobe Lights - Battery Operated
Strobes & Beacons
Strobe Light Bars
Headlights - Headlamps - Hard Hat Lights
Suction Mount Lights
Magnetic Spotlights
12/24 Volt Spotlights
Gifts For Men
New 12 / 24 Volt Lights
Explosion Proof Accessories and Replacement Parts
Explosion Proof Lighting
Explosion Proof Hand Lamps (Drop Lights)
Explosion Proof Lights - Stand/Dolly
Explosion Proof Tank Lights
Explosion Proof Phones and Intercoms
Explosion Proof Extension Cords
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials
Crane Lights
Explosion Proof Light Rentals
General Light Rentals
Light Tower and Light Plant Rentals
Power Distribution Rentals
Power Plant Lighting
Refinery lights
Environmental Services Lights
Aerospace Lights
Chemical Plant Lights
Food Grade Safe Lights
Film and Entertainment Lights
Handheld Meters and Devices
Waste Water Treatment Lights
Mining Lights
Ship Yard Lights
Work Site Lighting

01/29/18 Intrinsically Safe vs Explosion Proof- What’s the Difference?

Article - January, 29 2018 By

Explosion Proof LED Light - Magnetic Mount - Aluminum Base - Single 150 Watt Led Light

Intrinsically Safe vs Explosion Proof- What’s the Difference?

Hazardous locations call for specially-engineered lighting systems that can reduce the risks of ignition. For lighting systems and other industrial equipment, the most common types of protection include explosion proof and intrinsically safe.

The two vary greatly, from methods of protection to the way they are regulated by global safety institutions. This article explores the differences between the two, as well as their ratings and applications in industrial markets.

Designs and Features

Intrinsically safe refers to a type of protection that leverages low power currents to prevent the combustion of flammable compounds in the hazardous location. This technique is effective during normal operations, as well as fault or abnormal conditions. Intrinsically safe, wired equipment relies on an isolator or protective barrier to regulate power, preventing the occurrence of power surges that could (if present) ignite volatile substances. When used with other equipment in the hazardous location, the intrinsically safe barrier, which consists of resistors and fuses, should be separated from components that are not protected intrinsically, such as wires, in order to reduce the possibility of uncalculated connections.

Unlike intrinsically safe methods, explosion proof mechanisms allow ignitions to take place internally. Using heavy-duty conduits and seals, combustions are contained within the unit, ensuring they don’t escape and cause large fires, accidents or chain reactions. To reduce ignition temperatures, volatile gas is pushed through the system, forcing it to cool and expand safely before it is reintroduced back into the external environment.

Key Differences

In an intrinsically safe system, the main focus is power, which is heavily regulated and kept low to prevent the formation of sparks. Furthermore, this method does not utilize conduit and seals for protection – simply because it doesn’t need them. The main issue with intrinsically safe protection is its limitations in handling high-powered devices and equipment. Because low currents are required, this type of protection is not suitable for high power. For example, a camera with a flash cannot be intrinsically safe, because flashing requires bursts of high energy. Explosion proof protection would be more suitable for cameras, as well as fixed gas detection systems, sensors and industrial lighting (note: not handheld lighting), in hazardous locations.

Comparing the two options, explosion proof designs are required to mitigate surface temperatures, ensuring they don’t surpass ignition temperature thresholds of flammable compounds in the hazardous location. Since intrinsically safe devices can function safely in hazardous locations, they don’t need to take such factors into consideration. Additionally, explosion proof systems typically use high-strength materials during construction, such as cast aluminum or stainless steel.

From a cost perspective, explosion proof systems are most expensive to acquire and implement due to the use of heavy-duty components (conduits, enclosures, seals and more). But in some cases, like the use of high-powered devices, explosion proof is the only choice, as it caters to a wider range of equipment.

Compliance and Regulation

Intrinsically safe and explosion proof compliance can sometimes be complicated, due to varying standards between regions or countries. For instance, an intrinsically safe device in Europe is technically not intrinsically safe in the US or Canada, due to different regulatory standards and processes used when rating the product (just like how a local US driver’s license [note: not a US-issued International Driving Permit] is not valid in Japan, for example, but this doesn’t mean the US driver’s license holder doesn’t possess the necessary skills to drive in Japan – it’s basically an acknowledgement issue).

It is best practice to always adhere to the local standards of the hazardous location when matching equipment ratings with industrial safety regulations.

With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at how such ratings differ between safety institutions. The ATEX Directive, which is mostly used in Europe, certifies intrinsically safe equipment as Ex ia and Ex ib. The first classification is applicable to Zone 0, Zone 1 and Zone 2 explosive locations, while the latter is applicable to Zone 1 or Zone 2. This is similar to NEC’s Division 1 and a Division 2 explosion proof ratings for the US, in a sense that Ex ia is recommended for hazardous locations where volatile compounds are present at all times and exist (Division 1); and EX ib is recommended for hazardous locations where explosive compounds may exist (or have the potential to) sometimes or under abnormal conditions (Division 2).

From a global standpoint, IECEx standards are used for international certification, derived from IEC 60079-0. The key difference between ATEX and IECEx is that ATEX is only accepted in the EU and IECEx is accepted worldwide. However, this does not mean IEC standards can fully replace local regulations governing a hazardous location. In the EU, ATEX is mandatory – there’s no way around it. In practice, this means ATEX certification could technically be furnished using results from an IECEx test document. But in reverse, ATEX results cannot support IECEx certification. Because of this, it is common for products that require intrinsically safe or explosion proof protection to feature multiple markings (shared descriptions).

There are several regions and countries that acknowledge IECEx standards, such as the following: the US, Russia, Canada, China, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

The difference in standards between the governing institutions are great, in some aspects. For example, referring to ATEX, the gap of the flame path that is required in explosion proof equipment is considerable larger than what is required to meet US standards. This means that an explosive gas inside an ATEX-rated device will cool down faster, compared to the same device that is manufactured according to US explosion proof standards.

Related Categories/Products
Category/Product (click on link below for more information)
Intrinsically Safe Flashlights
Articles - EXP
Articles - Paint Booth
Articles - HAZLOC
Articles - Portable C1D1
Articles - Portable C1D2
Articles - EXP Handlamp Stringers
Explosion Proof LED Paint Spray Booth light - Class 1 Div 1 - Class 1 Div 2 - T6 - 7,000 Lumens
Rechargeable LED Explosion Proof Light - Class 1 Div 1 and 2 - Spot Flood Combo - ATEX
Rechargeable Explosion Proof LED - Spot/Flood Combo - Class I, Div. I - ATEX Approved
Intrinsically Safe LED Penlight - 25 lumens - Zone 0 - Class 1 Div 1 & Class 2 Div 1
Integrated Explosion Proof LED Paint Spray Booth Light - C1D1 - C1D2 - T6 - 4,000 Lumens
150W C1D1 Explosion Proof High Bay LED Light Fixture - 17500 Lumens - 6' SOOW Cord w/ EPP Cord Cap
Intrinsically Safe LED Flashlight - C1D1 / C2D1 - 820' Beam - IP54 - ATEX /IECEx Approved
C1D1 Explosion Proof 50W LED Flood Light Fixture - Paint Spray Booth Approved - Adj Surface Mount
Home | Contact Us | Return Policy | Privacy Policy | Security Policy | Copyright © 2006-2018. All Rights Reserved.