Explosion proof enclosures are boxes that can be made of various materials, such as aluminium, stainless steel or sheet metal. The key purpose of these enclosures is to protect the surrounding environment outside the enclosure by having the ability to contain any sparks or explosions within the enclosure itself. The enclosure itself must also be heat resistant to high heat so that any fire does not escape the enclosure itself. Thus, using explosion proof enclosures would serve as a safety measure so that any equipment that is malfunctioning might generate sparks and prevent these sparks from igniting any external flammable gases in hazardous environments.
It is important to also note that explosion proof enclosures are not immune to external explosions, but rather it’s their ability to be able to contain any spark or explosion that happens internally within the enclosure itself.
In this article, we are going to look at 2 types of explosion proof enclosures as per the ICE (International Electrotechnical Commission) standard. The Ex e and Ex d standard.
Ex e standard (IEC60079-7)
This standard has an emphasis on increased safety which in turn for products to be able to be granted this standard, they must be able to withstand excessive temperatures as well as sparks inside and outside of the enclosure.
Common uses of this standard are for products such as terminal boxes, control boxes and light fittings.
Ex d standard (IEC60079-1)
This standard focuses on resistance to flame within the enclosure. The enclosure needs to be able to safely contain any explosion and the accompanying pressure that develops and prevent any fire or sparks from escaping the enclosure and into the surrounding explosive environments.
Equipment that has this standard can be products such as control equipment or transformers.