For lift truck dealers looking to brush up on their knowledge of explosion protection, here is a simple overview of what an ATEX Zone 1 area is and what ATEX lift trucks for Zone 1 are all about.
What is ATEX Zone 1?
A Zone 1 hazardous area is classified as a place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air or flammable substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.
The presence of gas, vapour or mist does not usually mean anything this wrong. It is likely that these potentially flammable gases are a by-product of the activities taking place on site. ATEX Zone 1 areas are typically process areas where gases are more likely to be present, which are commonly found in chemical manufacturing, on waste management sites and even in the food and drink industry.
As the presence of combustible gases or vapours may be considered a normal occurrence in Zone 1, lift trucks and any other materials handling equipment, cranes, access platforms or scrubber driers, will need to be able to work through the potentially explosive atmosphere. For this reason, equipment for Zone 1 requires special conversion from experts like Pyroban to prevent it from being a source of ignition.
ATEX lift truck conversion for Zone 1
Pyroban Extec 2G and Euromech 2G conversions cover both electric and diesel equipment respectively and provide a passive explosion protection package.
The exact process of conversion varies depending on the specific equipment. However, typically an Extec 2G conversion for an explosion protected electric lift truck includes explosion proof Exd enclosures for arcing and sparking components, surface temperature limitation, frame leakage monitoring, stainless steel cladding of forks, Exd or Exe motors, Exi intrinsically safe circuits, Exm encapsulation and an Exe battery fitted with Exd plugs and sockets.
In addition, to the above, Euromech 2G conversions for a diesel trucks in Zone 1 features added surface temperature limitation for the engine, an inlet shutdown valve for automatic and manual shutdown and a water-cooled exhaust gas cooler.
Often during conversion, some original parts will be replaced with an ATEX explosion protected alternative, whereas other parts will be modified. This is always done in close collaboration with the OEM to ensure the part and the equipment itself still perform exactly as originally intended.
For instance, this Zone 1 explosion protected lift truck was converted by Pyroban for use in a petrochemical site in the UK.
Pyroban can convert almost all brands and types of materials handling equipment for safe use in Zone 1 hazardous areas in a range of applications and provides full support through the working life of the truck, anywhere.
Learn more about ATEX vehicle conversions for Zone 1 hazardous areas from Pyroban.
Zone 2, 3G lift trucks and more
Not all operations will require a Zone 1 lift truck conversion. A Zone 2 area is where an explosive or flammable atmosphere, involving either gas, vapour or mist is not likely to occur as part of normal operations. However, if it does, it will be for a short period only. As the level of risk differs, a different type of explosion protection conversion is needed for Zone 2 materials handling equipment.
If you’re unsure what vehicle conversion you might need, we recommend contacting Pyroban for advice and information.