ATEX Certified Pump Guide
The rules and regulations around ATEX and potentially explosive atmospheres have been amended in the last few years to accommodate for UK rules being applied from existing EU legislation. If you are looking to pump a potentially hazardous chemical fluid in your factory environment, then an ATEX Pump will be required for your operation.
What does ATEX stand for?
ATEX stands for Explosive Atmospheres which are atmospheres that typically contain a combination of vapours, dust or gas that can potentially ignite.
An ATEX rating ensures that products, in this case, an ATEX Pump, meets safety requirements depending on the protection level that is required. Electrical equipment must be tested to determine the ATEX certification, whereas non-electrical equipment can be self-certified.
The certification for all ATEX products is decided based on several factors. The product, in this case, an ATEX Pump, will have a code on it that highlights the ATEX certification. The code will follow the following formula:
Example Code: EX II 2G Ex h IIC T6 Gb
One determining factor is the potential frequency of an explosion happening and how long explosive material is in the atmosphere for. This is split into:
atex Zone 0 – Flammable material is present for a lengthy amount of time
atex Zone 1 – Flammable material is likely to be found during normal operation
atex Zone 2 – Flammable material is unlikely to be present during normal operation. It can occur but only for short amounts of time.
The zone will also highlight the type of explosive material that is present in the atmosphere with a G for gas or D for dust.
Another determining factor is the explosive material, the three groups are:
I – Firedamp
II – Gas
III – Dust
Dust explosions in the food industry
When it comes to pumping food powders such as icing sugar, custard powder, dried milk or flour. Not many people would consider them to be on the list of potentially explosive materials but they can cause as much damage as fuels and hazardous chemicals in a factory environment. This is due to the majority of food powders becoming combustible and airborne, where tiny particles form a dust cloud in the air. To reduce the risk of this happening, there are a variety of hygienic ATEX pumps available which prevent your application from escaping into the atmosphere.
EPL, or Equipment Protection Level, is what ensures the product qualifies the product for operation within the given atmospheric conditions. This is allocated based on a risk assessment carried out by the manufacturer. The EPL Levels are:
EPL_c – This is a basic requirement for products that are fine during normal operation.
EPL_b – The equipment is fine during normal operation, standard malfunctions, like static charge build up, are anticipated.
EPLC_a – Required for equipment in high risk atmospheres. This covers all standard operation and all malfunctions.
ATEX Pumps in our range
At TS Pumps, we have a wide range of Centrifugal Pumps that are available with ATEX certification. Our ATEX Centrifugal Pump range includes:
- Our exclusive UK partnership with BBA Pumps’ B-Series of Self-Priming Centrifugal Pumps
- Industrial, hygienic and self-priming Centrifugal Pump ranges from Tapflo.
- Salvatore Robuschi Centrifugal Pumps
- Mag Drive Centrifugal Pumps from Gemme Cotti
- Submersible Pumps
In order for a Centrifugal Pump to be ATEX rated the wetted section of the pump needs to be manufactured from a conductive material such as Cast Iron, Brass, Bronze, Stainless Steel & Carbon Impregnated Plastics (e.g. PP & PVDF). The coupling element of the pump, if present, also needs to be non-sparking and guarded by a conductive material such as Stainless Steel. The electric motor also needs to be suitably ATEX rated to ensure that no sparks or ignition sources are open to the hazardous zone or atmosphere. Considerations will also need to be made based on process fluid and zone requirements for the sealing configurations of your ATEX Pump.
The PTL and PT ranges from our high-quality Peristaltic Pump range are both available ATEX rated and are supplied with II 2G T4, II 3G T4 or II 2D T4 Certification. These pumps are units whose surface temperatures are completely dependent on the temperature of the product they are pumping. Moreover, Peristaltic Pumps also introduce mechanical heating due to the cyclical compression of the hose, the discharge pressure they are working against and also the speed at which they operate. Therefore the level of protection available must be evaluated on a case by case basis. ATEX forms for our Peristaltic Pumps are available through us and need to be completed & submitted before any order is placed.
For example, PT05, 10 & 20 Pumps are limited to a maximum discharge pressure of 7.5 bar and sizes 25 to 125 are limited to 15 bar. Going beyond these working limitations is regarded as an abnormal function of the pump and can cause surface temperatures within the pump to exceed the recommended in the “T” temperature classification. It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that these working limits are adhered to. We are able to supply ATEX rated protection devices to ensure that the temperature of the pump housing, discharge pressure of the pump and also the operating speed are kept within suitable ranges.
Our range of Air Operated Diaphragm Pumps are available in metal, HDPE and PTFE, these are all available with ATEX certification.
As standard, the Metal Diaphragm Pumps, in Aluminium and Cast Iron, are ATEX approved as their centre blocks are manufactured from Aluminium (others available on request). Industrial Stainless Steel pumps have a PP centre block which can be carbon filled on request to convert them to ATEX rated units, other centre block materials are also available on request. The Plastic Series are also available ATEX rated, on request, see our link ATEX HDPE & PTFE Diaphragm Pump. As the housings are manufactured from solid bock HDPE or PTFE and the centre blocks from PP, these components need to be carbon impregnated to prevent electrostatic build up. It is the conductive pigments in the plastic that give the pump its black colour.
Do I need ATEX Certification for a Transfer application?
If you are looking to transfer any type of chemical such as alcohols or fuels including petrol and diesel then you will require an ATEX rated transfer pump. The type of Atex pump you require will be dependent on your application. For example, pumping alcohol fluids will require a hygienic pump to keep your application sanitary while in operation. A good option for this is the Sanitary Diaphragm Pump which has the ability to be ATEX rated. Your pump will also be dependent on the type of zone you require for the application. For example, Petroleum or petrol as it’s more commonly known is classed as being more flammable than diesel due to a high flash point so it’s important to purchase the correct type of pump for your transfer application procedure.
For additional hygienic applications that require a pump with ATEX certification and EHEDG rating, we supply an extensive range of pumps manufactured by Pomac Pumps, including Centrifugal, Twin Screw and Lobe Pumps. Check out the range for more information.
If your application requires an ATEX Pump, get in contact with the team today for high quality, reliable pumps and premium customer service.