Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Quick Primer on Hazardous Area Enclosures

explosion proof enclosures
Understanding explosion proof enclosures
In electrical engineering terms, "explosion-proof" or "hazardous" areas are defined as locations where the possibility of fire or explosion exists because of the presence of flammable gasses, liquids, vapors, dusts, or fibers. As a result, electrical equipment must be installed in such a way where any electrical current or signal; a) does not provide enough energy to support an electrical arc (intrinsically safe); or b) is contained in an enclosure and associated conduit that are designed to suppress further ignition by sufficiently cooling escaping gases.

So its important to understand that when describing hazardous area enclosures, "explosion-proof" doesn't mean the enclosure can withstand the forces of an external explosion, but rather that the enclosure is designed to cool any escaping hot gases (caused by an internal spark or arcing contacts) sufficiently enough as to not to allow the ignition of combustible gases or dusts in the surrounding area.

This is a short video that explains what an explosion-proof enclosure looks like, how it works, and why it is safe to use in explosive or combustible atmospheres.

For more information on electrical equipment in hazardous areas visit this page.

Courtesy of Mead O'Brien
(800) 892-2769