ATEX, derived from ‘ATmosphere EXplosible’ was extended from electrical equipment to cover mechanical equipment such as fans and came into force under Directive 94/9/EC on 01 July 2003.
The „zones“ (according to RL 1999/92/EG) represent work areas in which an explosive atmosphere can occur. Depending on the frequency and the duration of the explosive atmosphere, ATEX defines different zones and corresponding categories:
- „Continuously or for longer periods of time“Zone 0 (=G) und 20 (=D) Equipment category 1
- „Occur occasionally“
Zone 1 (=G) und 21 (=D) Equipment category (1 or) 2
- „Normally not likely to occur, or only for short periods of time“ Zone 2 (=G) und 22 (=D) Equipment category (1, 2 or) 3
- Only equipment, components and protective devices may be placed on the market which conform to the provisions of ATEX directive 94/9/EG.