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Warning: motors must comply with ATEX zones

01 February 2008

Companies affected by the recently defined ATEX zones 20 to 21 should ensure repairs on motors are carried out in accordance with the new legislation, says Deritend.

If you operate motors in dustry atmospheres - watch out
If you operate motors in dustry atmospheres - watch out

The Wolverhampton based, maintenance management company said companies using motors without correct certification would be liable if there was an accident.

While traditional ATEX industries, such as petrochemical processing, have been used to this kind of legislation for years, others will be newly affected due to the inclusion of dust laden atmospheres. Dave Hawley, general manager of motor repair and rewind workshops at Deritend, is concerned about these companies.

‘They may be aware that explosions and fires caused by dust can be equally as devastating as those caused by explosive gases and vapours, but not what constitutes a risk and how to address it,’ he said.

‘Compliance as far as dust and electric motors are concerned is actually relatively simple and the motor parameters required are not extreme, but there is a genuine need to know within industry.’

Deritend advises that companies look out for problems with motors on conveyors, mixers, extractors, fans and pumps. Atmospheric dust is the most dangerous; something as simple as flour can cause powerful explosions. Extraction equipment should be used and motors working in this environment require a higher level of enclosure sealing of IP65 and a controlled maximum surface temperature of 125°C.

When dealing with settled dust, motor sealing to IP55 and a maximum surface temperature of 125°C are adequate.

In a final reminder Deritend stressed that motors must have full certification paperwork available from the manufacturer, when requested. Also motors must carry correct identifying labelling, including a re-assessed CE mark conforming to the new regulations. This is why purchasing a quality new motor from a knowledgeable supplier or a rewind from a reputable firm is advised.

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