An ATEX Ethernet switch

06 July 2009

Amphenol-Socapex claims its new five-port Ethernet switch, which is certified for ATEX operation in zone 2, is the only Ethernet switch usable outside in an explosive environment.

ATEX Ethernet switch
ATEX Ethernet switch

It has a rugged enclosure made with polyester reinforced glass fibre, which gives it a waterproof IP67 rating and is especially suitable for highly corrosive environments. Aluminium enclosures are also available.

It has the further advantage of being available with connectors that are also sealed and ATEX. The ports connect with any standard RJ45 cordset with the use of the RJStop® system. (The RJStop system uses special metallic covers to protect the RJ45 cordsets by reinforcing and sealing them from harsh environments; see

The switch can operate in a -40°C to +75°C temperature range. Redundant power inputs with surge and spike protection provides an one million hours MTBF.

The switch can be provided in either unmanaged versions or fault-tolerant ring versions, which are more suited for deterministic systems and PLCs.

The ring models can form a redundant ring topology with a recovery time of 30 ms (+ 5 ms per hop). They are available with functions such as priority management (QoS) and port mirroring.

Port mirroring allows a switch port to monitor packets from any or all of its ports so that traffic can be analysed. QoS is important where time-critical applications can be impaired by data delays.

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