IEC Ex accelerometers explained

When analysing any industrial outfit or operation that is using (or looking to use) sensors for vibration monitoring, there is often quite a range of accelerometers available that – on first glance – seem to fit the criteria for the particular process being monitored. On closer inspection, many engineers find that a safer type of accelerometer is required for their situation – one that is intrinsically safe and internationally certified, IEC Ex accelerometers.

So what does intrinsically safe mean?

Intrinsically safe accelerometers are vibration monitoring sensors that are ready and able to produce the data needed under extreme and hazardous conditions. Hansford Sensors (the sensors that GVS distribute) use an internationally recognised certification known as the IEC Ex intrinsically safe certification.

IEC stands for the International Electrotechnical Commission, a global body that generates the world standards for all electrical related technologies. The Ex is shortened for Explosive Atmospheres, areas also known as Hazardous Locations or Areas. These areas can be described as immediate environments where flammable liquids, vapours, gases or combustible dusts are may occur in quantities sufficient to cause a fire, explosion or major hazard.

Where do you commonly find IEC Ex equipment?

The use of IEC Ex accelerometers are usually necessary in industries and areas such as:

  • Underground coal mines
  • Chemical processing plants
  • Printing industries (both paper and textiles)
  • Oil refineries, rigs and processing plants
  • Hospital operating theatres
  • Aircraft refuelling and hangars
  • Sewerage treatment plants
  • Woodworking areas
  • Gas pipelines and distribution centers
  • Grain handling and storage
  • Metal surface grinding, especially aluminium dusts and particles

So what does this mean for my business?

If your business operations fit under any of the above industries, the specific process that you are looking to analyse may mean you are required to use an IEC Ex sensor for vibration analysis. To check on this, you can speak with one of us at GVS to determine exactly what will be required to suit your particular maintenance requirements.

What Sensors are available?

A wide range of Hansford accelerometers come with the IEC Ex certification, with many different entry points and usability across several environments (flame retardant, submersible etc).

On a side note, the state of Queensland does not recognise the IECEx certification for use in underground coal mining environments where gas is an ignition risk. Instead, QLD requires an Australian certifying body, such as ITACS or TUV Rheinland, to assess the product and provide an Australian certificate of approval. So as to assist our customers in QLD U/G mining environments, GVS Reliability Products has gone the extra mile and had numerous vibration sensors certified, gaining Australian approval.

For the full range of IEC Ex sensors you can either visit our IEC Ex Sensors page or give our team a call on 02 4925 2701.

What are you looking for?