Specialized Motors Protect Operations In Hazardous Locations

Specialized Motors Protect Operations In Hazardous Locations

Date: December 22, 2016

It can be quite a challenge to select a motor that will operate within an environment where explosive gas or vapors are present. Hazardous environments include areas where explosive vapors from gasoline, diesel fuel, or dust may reach dangerous levels. In these environments, it is imperative to have a motor that will not ignite vapors and cause a deadly situation.

Flameproof motors are the answer to such hazardous situations in the manufacturing process. These motors are approved for operation within Class I locations as defined by the National Electrical Code. These locations are where the presence of explosive gasses are present due to the manufacturing process. However, if the presence of hazardous gasses creates the potential for a tank rupture or unusual working condition, it is classified a Division 2 location. There are also locations that must use Class III motors.

The function of Class I flameproof motors

Class I motors include those designed to work in areas where explosive gasses, vapors, or liquids are present in quantities significant enough to cause an explosion. These materials include gasoline, diesel fuel, and solvents. Class I flameproof motors attempt to contain an explosion within the unit without allowing it to rupture.

Class I motors have built in flame paths that channel the force of a blast through the motor. These paths contain the blast and prevent flames from reaching highly combustible gasses that surround the motor. When the gas is vented from the flameproof motor, it is safely below the minimum ignition temperature for gasses within the atmosphere.

The function of Class II flameproof motors

Class II flameproof motors are designed to work in conditions where dust or debris can pose a significant risk to safety. Dusts will typically smolder when they come in contact with flame, but can be explosive when they reach certain concentrations within the air. Some dusts that are potentially explosive include metallic dusts like aluminum or magnesium, and non-metallic dusts like coal.

The function of Class III flameproof motors

These flameproof motors are made for use in manufacturing operations that produce fibers that can be ignited or flyings that can saturate the air. While these materials are not typically airborne, they do pose a significant risk due to their high level of combustibility. Operations where these issues can occur include cotton production, rayon production, and hemp manufacturing.

Finding the right flameproof motor for your environment

Because industrial environments and conditions can vary significantly, it is imperative to select the right motor based on the designation each is given. Class I and Class II flameproof motors are defined by their physical characteristics and the conditions under which they are expected to operate. Class III motors are those that are designed only to work within operations that produce ignitable fibers or flyings.

The National Electrical Code defines the requirements necessary to meet each classification. Division I locations are those where ignitable substances are present during either continuous or intermittent operations. Under normal conditions, operators can expect these conditions to be present. Division II locations are those where operators handle or store ignitable materials in quantity. Operators must handle and store these ignitable materials using methods that allow combustible substances to leave the area if a spill or equipment failure occurs.

If you would like more information about industrial equipment, contact the experts at Amarillo Gear Service today. The repair and renewal processes we utilize ensure that our gearboxes exceed the standards required to keep your facility and personnel safe. Call us at (806) 622-1273 or Contact Us by email to learn more about the regions we service and the quality workmanship we can bring to the repair or renewal of your gearbox.

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