One of the challenges for many different industrial and processing plants throughout the state of Texas is finding ways to generate power for systems without creating the risk of an explosion.
Explosion Risks and Concerns
In any type of application where there is the presence or the potential for the presence of combustible or explosive materials, standard types of electric motors pose a problem. Starting up these motors can result in sparks, which can ignite explosive and combustible gases and materials.
The other factor that can lead to the risk of explosion in industrial, commercial, and chemical processing types of applications is the buildup of heat on the surface of the motor. If this temperature reaches the level of the ignition for the material, it poses the risk of an explosion. An example of this type of concern is found in the cotton processing facilities in south and west Texas.
Explosion Proof Motor Classifications
To address this concern, a classification for different explosion proof motor designs has been developed. This is used to designate what types of enclosures and systems can be used in specific industries and in the presence of different types of flammable and explosive materials.
The classification system for these motors includes the Division location, which is either in normal or abnormal working environments. Normal environments are for known substances that are present, while abnormal environments can occur with a gas leak or a chemical spill on the property.
The Class location is the type of flammable or combustible materials that are present. These include vapors, gases, and the dust of flammable fibers. Finally, there are also groups of chemicals or materials that are explosive.
To choose the correct type of explosion proof motor, the specific system must meet the criteria for all of these factors. In addition, the motor should meet UL standards when available for the classification.
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