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Knowledge is Key to Selecting the Right Sensor for a Hazardous Location

( 03/14/2018 ) Written by: Dave Edeal

A hazardous location is any setting where an explosion is possible due to the presence of concentrations of flammable gases, vapors, fibers or dust. An explosion requires the availability of three components: oxygen, fuel and an ignition source (electrical or thermal energy). In order for sensors to be used in these environments, specific characteristics are required in order to remove one of these essential components from the equation. The configuration and classification of a sensor for use in hazardous locations is defined by specific criteria established by various agencies.

  • A Nonincendive mechanism is constructed so that the component is incapable of igniting the specified flammable gas-air or vapor-air mixture. The housing of a nonincendive component is not intended to exclude the flammable atmosphere or contain an explosion.
  • An Explosion-Proof apparatus incorporates the use of an enclosure that is capable of withstanding an explosion of a gas or vapor within it and of preventing ignition of an explosive gas or vapor that may surround it and that operates at such an external temperature that a surrounding explosive gas or vapor will not be thereby ignited. Stellar Technology Models GT23XX is ATEX approved flameproof and the Model GT25XX is CSA approved as explosion-proof.
  • An Intrinsically Safe sensor typically operates at 24 or 28 Vdc and is incapable of releasing sufficient electrical or thermal energy, under normal or fault conditions, to ignite a concentration of fuel. Limitations on current, voltage, capacitance, and inductance ensures that any arcing or thermal effect in the sensor cannot cause an explosion. Stellar Technology’s Model GT2450 is ATEX and IECEx approved intrinsically safe and Model GT2250 is approved as intrinsically safe by CSA.
  • A Purged System is a component that has all air removed from the unit thus eliminating the presence of oxygen. This is normally done by replacing the air with nitrogen.
  • A Simple Apparatus is a passive component such as a switch, thermocouple, resistance thermometer, potentiometer or strain gauge that does not generate or store energy (ref. standard IEC 60079-11). Consult factory for further assistance with using our low-level output (mV/V) product in hazardous locations.

LORD Sensing has a variety of hazardous location solutions to meet your sensing needs including our 4-20 mA transmitters, which now meet the latest global intrinsically safe standards. Certified to CSA and ATEX certifications since 2004 and with more than 10,000 transmitters already in use, the new IECEx certification provides users, no matter their location, with a global solution with proven Stellar Technology product performance and reliability. This new certification also allows customers with a global reach to benefit from a reduced inventory since they can stock fewer part numbers by applying all three certification markings on a given base model product.

The new certification expands LORD Sensing’s intrinsically safe offering to nearly all existing pressure, temperature, load/force/torque, and external 4-20 mA transmitter amplifier designs using just a single set of universal electronics.

Click here for more information about our certifications or contact us.


Certification Details:

CSA – Intrinsically Safe Class I, Division 1, Groups A, B, C, and D T4 (Canada & USA), Ex ia IIC T4 Ga (Canada) and Class I, Zone 0, AEx ia IIC T4 Ga (USA)

ATEX – Intrinsically Safe II 1 G Ex ia IIC T4 Ga

IECEx – Intrinsically Safe Ex ia IIC T4 Ga


Standards Covered:

CSA – CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 60079-0:15 and CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 60079-11:14

ATEX and IECEx - EN 60079-0:2012 +A11:2013 and EN 60079-11:2012

Dave Edeal

Dave is the Global Product Marketing Manager for LORD Sensing, Stellar Technology, focusing in pressure, load, temperature and displacement sensing products and applications. Dave specializes in delivering optimal sensing solutions for use in the Aerospace, Test & Measurement, Oil & Gas and Industrial Automation industries.

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