Innovative Approach to ATEX Compliance

05.09.2003

A leading manufacturer of vacuum pump systems, BOC Edwards, has developed an innovative solution to address the reduced pumping efficiencies associated with meeting the T4 temperature classification under the ATEX Directive. The company is launching a new range of T=160°C rated EH dry mechanical booster pumps.

Innovative Approach to ATEX Compliance

T 160

BOC Edwards ATEX experts point out that the T4 temperature rating (135 C) used widely for multipurpose chemical processing equipment is nearly always an over specification. The ATEX Directive extends the concept of temperature classification familiar to chemical processors as a rating system for external flammable atmospheres to include the inside of equipment where a potentially explosive atmosphere might exist.

A pump achieving T=160 C will typically allow 50% higher pumping speed than a pump restricted to T4 rating at typical processing pressures of 1-100mbar. The only chemical that could not be processed by a pump achieving T=160 C rating is acetaldehyde, which auto-ignites at 140 C.

Many manufacturers of mechanical vacuum pump systems have had to make significant compromises in pump speed and efficiency to meet the standard internal and external default T4 rating. This is not the case with T=160 C pumps from BOC Edwards.

For other applications allowing a higher temperature classification, BOC Edwards offers an additional range of T3 (200 C) rated pumps.

The new ranges of T160 and T3 EH booster pumps offer pump speeds of 250-4200m3/hr. Based on proven hydrokinetic drive technology, with the ability to operate continuously at all pressures, they are ideal for use on multi-purpose vacuum pump systems used in many chemical processing applications. They offer the reduced maintenance cost advantages of oil-free operation and ATEX compliance and are designed with no pressure sensors or bypass valves, for easy installation, operation and reliability.

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