Thanks to the contained powder transfer capability of the SoliValve® system, the ATEX zones may be reevaluated. When carrying out risk analysis with the Hygienee and Safety team, it can be decided to lower the zoning rating which, by consequence, will lower the specification and costs of the control systems,
The ATEX directive consists of two EU laws describing what equipment is allowed in an environment with an explosive atmosphere.
All companies in the EU, must follow these regulations since 2003. The main goal of these directives is to protect the employees/infrastructures by avoiding explosion risks.
The ATEX directive classifies the Explosion risk in 3 zones for gases (0,1, 2) and 3 zones for dust (20, 21, 22). More details available here.
An explosive atmosphere is defined as a mixture of dangerous substances with air, under atmospheric conditions, in the form of gases, vapors, mist or dust in which, after ignition has occurred, combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture.
In powder transfer, the risk of explosion is common, either because the very small particles can get statically charged during the filling/discharging process or where the powder is mixed with solvent, like in a reactor for example.