GexCon Laboratories Index
The EU directive 94/9/EC, commonly called the ATEX 'product' directive, was put into effect on the 1st of July 2003. The directive sets a number of minimum requirements for manufacturers of equipment and components, both electrical and mechanical, intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres of gas, dust, mist or vapour.
The demands and requirements set by the directive and relevant standards depend upon the type of equipment and the nature of the hazardous area in which it is to be used or installed. Although much equipment can be 'self-approved' in terms of ATEX 94/9/EC (especially non-electrical), under certain circumstances, certification by a Notified Body is required.
We can help manufacturers with self-declaration of Category 2 & 3 Ex-equipment for Ex-zone 1/21 & 2/22 respectively. ATEX certification of Category 1 equipment for zone 0/20 is performed through our collaboration with Notified Bodies.
In order to obtain information concerning the safety precautions that should be taken when handling the powder/dust/gas/liquid you are processing, it is important to have information about the ignition and explosion characteristics of your material(s). The performance of risk assessments as required by the ATEX Directive 1999/92/EC without the knowledge of such characteristics is virtually impossible.
GexCon can perform several types of standardised tests to investigate the characteristics describing the ignitability and explosibility of different materials. Several different tests often need to be performed in order to obtain the necessary material properties to be able to adequately characterise the hazards associated with your raw materials or products. All standardised tests are performed according to internationally accepted standards.
At the GexCon test laboratories in Bergen and the large-scale test site at Sotra, facilities are available for gas and dust explosion testing. These facilities are often used to test equipment designed to either withstand the impact from gas and/or dust explosions or to protect against the consequences of such explosions.
The test laboratory at GexCon also offers a wide range of standardised tests for the determination of various properties of equipment and materials related to explosion safety. By being aware of these properties for materials handled in your plant or process, or used in your products, the necessary safety precautions can be taken to prevent explosions or reduce their consequences.
The test facilities available at our test laboratories and our large-scale test site lend themselves well to the use of specialised testing applications and customised test projects that are tailor-made to the needs of our customers. We also perform a significant amount of our testing activities as part of contract research, carried out within the field of fire, blast and explosion safety, either as sole contractor or as part of a collaboration with GexCons R & D department or other research institutions.
We also provide 'in-situ' testing services in which our testing staff perform tests and measurements at our clients' premises if this is either necessary or more practical depending on the type of tests and measurements required.
All small-scale and laboratory-scale tests are carried out at GexCon's test laboratory facilities at Fantoft near Bergen, Norway. A wide range of gas and dust explosion test projects using vessels in the volume range from less than 1 litre to approximately 2 m3 can usually be performed in the laboratory. In this wide range of test vessels test scenarios can be varied significantly. Several closed vessels are available as well as a number of open or vented test vessels.
All medium-scale and large-scale tests are carried out at GexCon's test site on the island of Sotra just outside Bergen. Gas and dust explosion testing using vessels in the volume range 1 m3 to 50 m3 may be performed. A wide range of test vessels are available for which the venting configuration(s) and test scenarios can be varied significantly. Several closed vessels are also available.