A Deep Dive Into Intrinsic Safety

The entire world, especially the businesses function with just two words. “Demand and Supply”. It would not be an understatement to say that these two form the base for everything. In this ecosystem, the production/manufacturing and assembly plants play a vital role. There are some industries which produce in large volumes, and there are some which produce small volumes. Irrespective of their production capacity the commonality between the two is that they are prone to industrial accidents.

This is the reason why the experts go that extra mile when it comes to safety. All precautionary measures are taken before the plant starts production. It might sound simple, but the bitter truth is that it is the exact opposite of it. The uninterrupted and automated processes might seem to be a lot appealing. But what meets the eye is just the tip of the iceberg. A lot of work by the expertise has gone into making it a smooth and very flawless process. One of the important that has been used in this humongous process Intrinsic Safety.

Intrinsic Safety – What is it?

To put it is simple words intrinsically safe systems are the ones that have very low energy levels that have very less possibility of explosion. As a result, they are comparatively safe.  

Intrinsic Safety is not a new-age concept. It came into existence during the 19th century from the mining industry. Accidents and explosions in the mines was a ubiquitous thing. In most cases, the reason would be the sparks that came from the electrical circuits. These explosions would result in fatalities in large numbers.

These accidents that were taking the lives of hundreds of people led to the birth of Intrinsic Safety. It was solely devised to reduce the number of accidents. It was after this the system that use low energy were installed, and people witnessed an evident difference after that.

Intrinsic Safety – Different Methods

When it comes to intrinsic safety, there are three different methods. They are

  1. Containment
  2. Segregation
  3. Prevention

Containment

The containment method is also referred to as an explosion-proof method. Of all the processes, this is the only one where an explosion is permitted. It is because even if there is an explosion happening, it is contained by the enclosure. One of the critical aspects of this method is that it demands periodic maintenance. It is because the functioning of the enclosure is dependent on mechanical integrity.

Segregation

As the name states, this process involves separating the ignition from the areas that are more likely to experience an explosion. In most cases, the pressure difference is induced. 

Other techniques also include insulating ignition with oils, powder or resin.

Prevention

The prevention method is considered to be the ultimate when it comes to Intrinsic Safety. In this method, the ignition is completely eliminated by using devices that use very less energy. There is no spark created in the circuits which results in zero ignitions.

NEC, IEC & ATEX

Except for the United States of America, the rest of the countries follow IEC – International Electronic Commission. United States follows NEC, which is the National Electric Code. The major difference between these two is that NEC places Hazlocs into classes and divisions and IEC classifies Hazlocs into zones. ATEX, on the other hand, is the systems followed in Europe.

NEC Class/Division System

In this regard, the class specifies the properties of the environment. To be more precise, it refers to if the environment contains hazardous vapour or dust.

Class I : Presence of gases or vapours that are flammable.

Class II : Presence of combustible dust

Class III : Presence of ignitable fibres

Division refers to the possibilities of the production of hazardous substances which has the potential to cause an explosion.

When it comes to division, there are only two classifications.

Division 1: If there is an ignition, there is a very high possibility of explosion.

Division 2: If there is an ignition, there are very less possibility of explosion.

IEC/ATEX Zone Systems

As mentioned earlier, in IEC and ATEX systems, the areas are classified as zones. Here zone refers to the area in which the hazardous substances are produced that can create an explosion.

For Gas

Zone 0: The concentration of the explosives in that environment is there forever, or it is present for a considerable period of time.

Zone 1: The explosive concentration is present during the normal operating conditions

Zone 2: In zone 2, the possibility of explosion is less. It is mainly because of the concentration of the explosive material produced at a given time is way too less.

Advantages of Intrinsic Safety

To summaries things with few words, Intrinsic Safety is the safest and the least expensive method that can be practically implied to prevent the explosion. This is the only method that can be used in zone 0 of IEC classification. The rest of the methods are close to impossible to be applied in zone 0.

Closing Note…

Intrinsic Safety has proved to be a reliable method that industries can trust. When industries are opting for Intrinsic Safety procedures, it is important that the experts deal with it. It goes without saying that hands-on experience in the industry is something that cannot be substituted with anything.

Preipolar Engineering Private Limited has managed to stay on the top of the game over the years by exceeding the expectations of the clients. It is a name that is synonymous with designing and implementing the finest Intrinsic Safety procedures. With an uncompromising attitude towards quality, Preipolar Engineering has positioned itself as a reliable brand in every possible vertical.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *