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Introduction

In electrical engineering, a hazardous location is defined as a place where concentrations of flammable gases, vapors, or dusts occur. Electrical equipment that must be installed in such locations is especially designed and tested to ensure it does not initiate an explosion, due to arcing contacts or high surface temperature of equipment.

 

There are several types of protection techniques acceptable when designing products for use in hazardous (classified) locations: Explosion proof, dust ignition proof, dust tight, purged/pressurized, intrinsically safe and hermetically sealed. These definitions set are criteria that must be met by all components installed in hazardous (classified) locations.

 

To meet the criteria for the explosion proof rating, an enclosure must be able to contain any explosion originating within its housing and prevent sparks from within its housing from igniting vapors, gases, dust or fibers in the air surrounding it. Therefore, explosion proof, when referring to electrical enclosures, does not mean that it is able to withstand an exterior explosion. Instead, it is the enclosures ability to prevent an internal spark or explosion from causing a much larger blast.

 

That equipment must meet the temperature requirements of the specific application in which it is to be installed. This means that the operating temperature of the motor (and its enclosure) or other component cannot be greater than the lowest ignition/combustion temperature of the gases or dusts in the atmosphere where the components is to be installed.

 

All components are labelled on their nameplate with the district classification in which they have been tested and approved for installation.