ATEX materials

An ATEX document is often required if the application is to be implemented in dangerous processes or used with dangerous materials or products. This often happens in the semiconductor and electronic industries, as well as in chemicals and food technology.

Those applications are often involved in or used for:

  • Processing and handling of explosives
  • Processing of powders with high specific surfaces (flour, dust) with low ignition point
  • Processing of compounds that might generate explosive dust such as in some plastic manufacturing processes
  • Cutting processes that generate small particles with the potential for electrostatic charging, creating an explosive dust atmosphere. The electrostatic charge could generate a high voltage ignition spark.

 
The ATEX directives of the European Union were introduced to help ensure safe usage of materials and products in potentially hazardous environments. The term ATEX derives from the French abbreviation "Atmosph√®re EXplosible". The directive currently contains two sets of European Union guidelines in the field of explosion prevention. This is the ATEX equipment Directive 94/9/EG, and the ATEX Guideline 1999/92/EC.

 

General recommendations for explosion prevention are made in these documents for materials:

  • That are electrically conductive, to avoid self ignition
  • That do not contain any flammable solvent, elastifier or vapourising additives

As a product manufacturer rather than a device manufacturer, Ensinger cannot issue a certificate regarding ATEX material guidelines for its products, but we can describe the product properties to support the ATEX documentation of the final device. The suitability of the effective function of our products in any process or equipment designated for explosion prevention thus has to be tested in the actual application.

 

For example, Ensinger would be able to confirm certain relevant properties of our semi finished products such as:

  • The surface resistivity and volume resistivity of an ELS grade
  • Confirming that the semi finished material reflects a resistivity value of 109
  • Stating that the respective product is not flammable (for example stating V0 according to UL94 for high performance plastics)
  • Stating that it does not contain flammable additives

Recommended plastics

For ATEX materials, we can offer the following Ensinger materials with corresponding electrical conductivity:


Acetal POM ESD Plastic Material TECAFORM AH ELS black

TECAFORM AH ELS black

Acetal copolymer (POM-C) material modified by the addition of a special conductive carbon black is manufactured by Ensinger under the tradename TECAFORM AH ELS black.
PEEK Medical Plastic Material TECAPEEK MT black

TECAPEEK ELS nano black

For applications that require a plastic with the added characteristic of electrical conductivity, Ensinger has developed PEEK ELS under the trade name TECAPEEK ELS nano black...