Sensing Safety: What Intrinsically Safe means for accelerometers

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.

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 (which are the sensors that GVS supply) 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 Ex equipment?

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

  • Automotive refuelling stations or petrol stations
  • Chemical processing plants
  • Printing industries (both paper and textiles)
  • Oil refineries, rigs and processing plants
  • Hospital operating theatres
  • Underground coal mines
  • 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). For the full range our more popular intrinsically safe 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?