Manufacturers of products with Zone 1 ATEX/IECEx certification often attempt to sell in the United States thinking that the ATEX/IECEx certification can be used for compliance, only to find out they need a Class I Division 1 certification for the same installation and use. In addition to needing a US-“UL” Certification (see whitepaper #66), a Zone 1 Certification will only allow the product to be installed in a Class I Division 2 area.
Although the Zone marking scheme is accepted in the US, the problem is that many installations are still classified using a Division scheme. Since areas classified as Division 1 can include the harshest environments, only products certified for Zone 0 use can be considered for equivalency. This equivalency means that Zone 1 compliance will only permit use in Class I Division 2 areas.
Some Zone 1 protection methods can also be used for Zone 0 protection, however this increase comes with much stricter safety requirements. For example, Intrinsic Safety (Type ‘i’) can be used for either Zone 1 (Type ‘ib’) or Zone 0 (Type ‘ia’). For Zone 1, only a single fault in the circuit is required to be assessed. Whereas for Zone 0, simultaneous double faults within the circuit must be assessed.
If the product cannot comply with the stricter safety requirements, either a costly redesign is necessary, or the installation will require the use of explosion-proof or pressurized enclosures – solutions which are not possible for all applications.
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