Manufacturers must meet a variety of standards to ensure the safety of their employees and their communities. In such industries as chemical and petrochemical, for example, vapors and mists escape during the production, processing, transportation and storage of flammable substances and during the production of mineral oil and natural gas. In such potentially explosive environments, it is critical to use certified equipment that can safely operate in these hazardous conditions.
A variety of certification standards regulate equipment used in explosive environments. Two of the most common sets of standards are ATEX and UL.
Process engineers typically question, when specifying equipment to be used in both Europe and the United States, what the ATEX and UL equivalencies are. In other words, if I specify something for ATEX Zone 1 or Zone 28, what is the corresponding UL Class and Division? The reverse applies as well for those specifying a UL level of performance. While this is a complex and technically precise question, we’ll address some general guidelines here.