Explosion Proof Enclosures

Electrical equipments are often installed in such locations where there is higher than acceptable risk of an explosion hazard. To safeguard the electrical equipments, surrounding environment and most importantly the people working in the vicinity it is required that electrical equipment installed should be housed in explosion proof enclosures.

Explosion proof enclosures should be so designed that they are able to withstand any explosion that may arise within the housing and also be able to prevent sparks that may occur in the equipment from igniting vapor/ gases in the atmosphere surrounding it. The most commonly used electrical materials in manufacturing explosion proof enclosures include aluminum, fiber glass and heavy duty steel. There are local and international guidelines in place that define the quality and design of explosion proof enclosures. Depending on the level of hazard these guideline define the level of protection that needs to be incorporated in the design. The level of hazard is a function of the risk and intensity of explosion that may happen because of the prevailing conditions in the surrounding atmosphere. Presence of inflammable gases, vapor, easily ignitable fibers or flying are some of the common hazards that prevail at work place.

A range of explosion proof products are available that includes -

Junction Box

The electric equipment installed within a junction box may sometime face sparking for several reasons like entry of flammable gases or loose connections. In case of junction where high voltages are involved, these could be dangerous and cause an explosion. Hence the junction box is designed to be explosion proof in order to contain an internal explosion. If the atmosphere outside the junction box contains flammable gases and the junction box is not explosion proof, the consequence of explosion within the junction box could be far more dangerous.

Conduit Unions

If explosive materials exist in the surrounding air, conduit unions need to be designed to be explosion proof. The purpose of an explosion-proof conduit union is to control the release of hot gasses or other material in the event an explosion happens within the conduit. If there are inflammable or explosive elements in the environment outside the conduit, the hot gases that may escape out of the conduit could cause a severe hazard.

Control Stations

Explosion proof control stations need to be installed in places like petroleum refineries, grain processing factories, heavy industrial applications where Class I, II, or III hazards are present. Fiberglass Reinforced Polyester (FRP) may be used to make these control stations explosion proof.


Seal Fittings

The purpose of explosion proof seal fittings is to prevent the explosions from spreading through the conduit system and hot gases getting in contact with outside hazardous environment. Thus seal fittings limit the explosion to the sealed enclosure. Seal fittings should be installed at the boundary separating a hazardous and non-hazardous area.


Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are safety equipments which break the electric circuit in case a pre-specified event like short circuit or overload happens within the circuit. If these circuit breakers are being used in damp, wet, dirty, dusty hazardous locations, they are required to be explosion proof. These circuit breakers may come in copper free aluminum housing.


Motor Starters

Motor Starters are used for starting of small AC or DC motors and the purpose is to reduce the starting current by inserting initially high resistance.


Conduit Outlet Boxes

These are intended for changing conduit direction, connect conduits of varying length and also used for pulling or splicing of wire. Explosion proof conduit boxes are available for all kinds of hazardous locations. These are generally made of copper free aluminum.


Advantages of Explosion Proof Enclosures

The operations in certain industries or factories involve a certain level of explosion hazard. It is important to quantify this hazard and be accordingly prepared. Electrical equipment installed at factories and plants if not designed for ensuring safe operations in all circumstances may lead to life threatening consequences. Hence in order to avert the potential damage to life and property, it is wise to use explosion proof enclosures where ever required. Whatever may be the level of hazard prevailing at a work place, there are explosion proof enclosures available and would ensure safety.

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