What exactly does ATEX mean?

The term ATEX refers to the directive of the European Union related to explosion protection and is derived from the French abbreviation for „atmosphères explosibles“.


The new ATEX directives regulate throughout the EU the placing on the market and the proper use of electrical and mechanical/non-electrical equipment, protective systems and components in explosion-hazard areas for manufacturers (2014/34/EU) as well as for the operators (1999/92/EG).


The former directive 94/9/EG – ATEX 95 on explosion protection serves as a legal basis, it has been embedded in German law since March 1st, 1996 and regulates the use of explosion-proof equipment, protective systems and components in mining and other industries with potentially explosive atmospheres. A hazardous explosive atmosphere is created by a mixture of air and combustible gases, vapours, mists or dusts.


After a seven-year transition phase, the application of the explosion protection directives became obligatory from July 1st, 2003. The ATEX directive of the European Union standardised the legislation in force at the time in all EU member states and was taken as a reference until the mandatory application date on April 20th, 2016.


The products are subdivided into two groups: group 1 is applicable for mining, group 2 refers to all other sectors where potentially explosive atmospheres can form. Depending on the individual degree of hazard, the product is assigned to a zone. Also the frequency and duration of the formation of explosive atmospheres are evaluated and are an aspect to allocate the product according to safety criteria.


Ignition temperature and temperature class

temperature class

>450 °C


>300 °C up

to ≤ 450 °C


>200 °C up

to ≤ 300 °C


>135 °C up

to ≤ 200 °C


>100 °C up

to ≤ 135 °C


>85 °C up

to ≤ 100 °C

explosion class
II A acetone

(540 °C)



(470 °C)


(365 °C)





(220 - 330 °C)


(140 °C)

II B city gas

(560 °C)


(425 °C)

hydrogen sulphide

(270 °C)

ethyl ether

(180 °C)

II C hydrogen

(560 °C)


(305 °C)

      carbon disulphide

(95 °C)


Temperature classes

Our pressure equipment for use in explosion-hazard areas has no or only very little self-heating. At Mankenberg, the maximum surface temperature, that must be marked, mainly depends on the temperature of the medium flowing through.


Consequently, temperature classes T1 to T6 are not permissible and are indicated with a range, e.g. T6 ...T4 or +85 °C ...+130 °C.


Permissible ambient temperature

The permissible ambient temperature must be indicated if it is not between-20 °C and +60 °C.

A different temperature range than the normal one is specified with X or e.g. -10 °C <= Ta <= +130 °C.


 » Ex II 2G Ex h IIB 85°C...130°C Gb X


Selection criteria for equipments and protective systems

In all places, in which explosive atmospheres may occur, the equipment and protective systems must be selected on the basis of the categories set out in the  ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU.



explosive atmosphere zone division explosive atmosphere present EPL
gas zone 0 continuously, for long periods, frequently Ga
zone 1 occasionally Gb (Ga)
zone 2 not, rarely or for a short time Gc (Ga, Gb)
Staub zone 20 continuously, for long periods, frequently Da
zone 21 occasionally Db (Da)
zone 22 not, rarely or for a short time Dc (Da, Db)

Weiterführende Informationen

Widely used products


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