SGS Explains ISO Standards for Non-electrical Equipment in Explosive Atmospheres

Top Quote The introduction of two international standards for non-electrical equipment used in explosive atmospheres – ISO 80079-36 and ISO 80079-37 – means there are now standards suitable for use in the world-wide IECEx certification scheme. SGS explains their approach to certification. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) July 23, 2018 - Until the introduction of ISO 80079-36 and ISO 80079-37, there was no standard to certify non-electrical equipment used in explosive atmospheres except the European EN 13463 series. This meant certification was only applicable in areas of the world that accepted ATEX documentation. However, the introduction of the two ISO standards means there is now an option suitable for use within the world-wide IECEx certification scheme.hazardous locations – e.g. petro-chemical, pharmaceutical or food processing sites, or mines – must be safe and must not create unintentional sparks. For non-electrical equipment the possible ignition source is not primarily of electrical origin, even if the equipment uses an electric motor. Instead, the source of ignition comes from the action of the machinery that may create frictional contact, thus causing a spark or hot surface. Examples of this type of equipment include: hydraulic pumps, gear boxes and crushers.

    IECEx is a global scheme designed to create a safety certification process for all products that are used in hazardous areas. The two new ISO standards were developed by an ISO sub-committee of the IEC lead committee. This was done to avoid inconsistencies between the requirements for electrical and non-electrical equipment. Each standard therefore has a dual badge, ISO and IEC, and an ISO number. These are assessment and testing standards, which are harmonized with the related electrical standards and will allow global certification of all products used in hazardous locations.

    • ISO 80079-36 covers the basic methods and requirements for non-electrical equipment used in explosive atmospheres. When a product is certified, it is marked with the ‘Ex’ marking code “h”
    • ISO 80079-37 covers the technical requirements for three different protection types:
    o Constructional safety (c)
    o Control of ignition sources (b)
    o Liquid immersion (k)
    The marking on the equipment that utilizes any of these protection types remains ‘Ex h’

    Stakeholders should be aware that electrical protection concepts that rely on the enclosure (flameproof ‘Ex d’, purged and pressurized ‘Ex p’ and dust exclusion ‘Ex t’) within the IEC 60079 series, may also be utilized for non-electrical equipment.

    SGS Explosive Atmosphere Services
    SGS is one of Europe’s leading Notified Bodies and can issue certification in accordance with the European ATEX Directive. In addition, SGS is at the forefront of the IECEx Equipment Certification Scheme and has issued more certificates than any other certification body in the world.

    With dedicated facilities in the UK and US, SGS has the ability to support global manufacturers in the development and certification of all products used in hazardous locations. This includes the following protection concepts for electrical equipment:
    • Non-sparking (n)
    • Flameproof (d)
    • Powder filled (q)
    • Intrinsic safety (i)
    • Purge and pressurized (p)
    • Dust exclusion (t)
    • Oil immersion (o)
    • Increased Safety (e)
    • Encapsulation (m)
    • Optical radiation (op)

    SGS is also an OSHA Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) providing certification for equipment intended for use in the USA and Canada, and they can offer inspection and auditing services related to the ATEX User Directive and IEC (global) standards. These cover Hazardous Area Classification, Plant Inspection and Equipment Repair.

    Whatever your requirements with regards to explosive atmospheres, SGS has the capability to provide you with an efficient and cost-effective solution. Learn more about SGS Explosive Atmosphere Services: (

    For more information, please contact:

    Carolyn Featherstone
    Business Development Manager, SGS
    Tel: +44 (0) 1298 766 600
    Email: ( @ ) sgs dot com

    About SGS
    SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 95,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,400 offices and laboratories around the world.

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