Mixing in Hazardous Areas

Explosion risk assessment and the implementation of suitable equipment and machinery.

As product performance requirements become more demanding in all market sectors, we see the introduction of many new products which can only be produced in conditions which are deemed hazardous and covered by the ATEX regulations.

Greaves are experts in the field of intrinsically safe process mixers and the associated equipment. All categories of ATEX, flameproof motors, ATEX drives, seals and insurance backed inspection and the mandatory documentation to support the pioneering expertise we provide.

Our experts work with clients to understand the product and process parameters and design safe solutions which take away the bewilderment which many experience when faced with Flash point and Auto ignition temperatures and a minefield of Zone and Regulation classifications. We assist clients at all knowledge levels and provide substantial guidance not only in mixers but the location and types of control panels available, if required.

Explosive atmospheres may possibly arise due to mists, combustible dusts and flammable gases. Should there be a certain amount of a substance combined with air and an ignition source, an explosion could be caused. Explosions can cause death, serious injuries and considerable damage. Eliminating any release of dangerous substances, which may produce explosive atmospheres, and eliminating any ignition source are both ways of reducing the risk. Clearly, selecting the appropriate equipment can significantly assist this.

The European Directive 137 (The protection of workers from potentially explosive atmospheres) makes it mandatory under European law to classify the explosion risk into to their according areas. The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) place the duty on employers to remove or control the risks from explosive atmospheres in the working environment.

The risks of explosion therefore must be identified both inside and outside the vessel according to ATEX Zone 0, 1 and 2.

The effects of temperature, pressure and oxygen enhancement are critical, as clearly most products behaviours change once these factors considered. Certainly many of our client’s products require specific conditions for not only the perfect result, but also to ensure the process is completely safe during the mixing operation. Maintaining, increasing or reducing the temperature in the vessel during the process can be carried out by various methods, depending of the clients requirements. Often vacuum, pressurisation or nitrogen purging is required to reduce explosion risks and be key to the final products results.