Protecting human lives is of utmost priority in any environment or workplace.

This is even more crucial in harsh or hazardous operations where potentially explosive atmospheres exist, such as mining, oil & gas or sawmills. While various standards are available to regulate the equipment and components used in these environments, the European Union’s ATEX directive is one of the commonly recognised versions providing minimum requirements for ensuring the health & safety of personnel working in these special segments.

Defined in French as “Appareils destinés à être utilisés en ATmosphères EXplosives”, ATEX translates into English as “Devices for use in explosive atmospheres” and is applicable to environments where there is a likelihood of an explosion occurring, due to dangerous levels of gases or dusts (e.g. flour, sawdust) which present an ignition source.

“What are the differences between ATEX and IECEx Certifications?”

Certified components or equipment carry “CE” marking to indicate compliance, and an additional “Ex” marking to indicate ATEX approval.

The IECEx System (International Electrotechnical Commission System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres) is a global framework setting out standards for components used in explosive atmospheres. It covers wide applications in electrical and non-electrical products and systems, including gas/dust and service industries such as equipment repairs and overhauls.

ATEX is derived from the IECEx but limited to countries in the EU only. Any recognised standard may be applied for provided it meets the Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSR) of the Directive, of which the list of Harmonised Standards falls under.

Distinguishing Cables
for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres

Specially designed for use in electrical equipment in areas with a risk of explosion, the components of explosion-proof cable glands must meet international and national standards such as IECEx, ATEX, cCSAus and UL. Depending on the level of explosion protection or hazardous zones defined by gases or dust, there are various specifications that must be adhered to.

Levels of Ex Classifications

LAPP cable glands with the addition of suffix "ATEX" meet the explosion protection requirements in accordance with IEC 60079-0, IEC 60079-7 and IEC 60079-31, and are therefore suitable for use in explosive atmospheres (enhanced safety protection type “e” or dust ignition proof “t”).

Another important factor when choosing an explosion-proof cable gland is to verify how the cable is constructed (unshielded, shielded, armoured, etc.) Applicable to gas atmospheres, the toughest classification Ex d requires the gland connection to withstand the force of an explosion.

An assessment must also be made to determine if the cable is gas tight. Examine the cable construction and its external shape for certain clues on this aspect; if the cable is not gas-tight, a "barrier gland" must be used, which has a sealing compound that makes the cable gas tight together with the cable gland.

Hazardous Area Cable Solutions
for the Toughest Work Zones
As a world leader in system solutions for cables and accessories, LAPP offers a complete range of cable glands for use in marine and explosive industrial environments. Besides official certification for explosion protection, our products feature approvals from UL, CSA, DNV and other relevant bodies, making them the ideal choice for global companies.
Further strengthening our product protfolio, LAPP has partnered CMP Products, a market leader in ATEX glands and accessories. A specialist in design and manufacture of cable glands, cable cleats and accessories such as thread conversion adaptors, reducers and related products, CMP’s diverse products have obtained both international approvals and endorsements from independent bodies such as SIRA, CEPEL / INMETRO, CSA, UL, EAC, NEPSI, TUV and CIDET.

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