In the Know
Fixed Gas & Flame Detection
Do you know the difference between an explosion-proof instrument and one that is intrinsically safe? Both technologies are designed to provide safe operation in hazardous environments, but they achieve this goal in different ways. Read on to find out how they differ.
We define explosion-proof as a method of protection in which an explosion in a hazardous location is prevented by containing any combustion within the device, and thereby, is prevented from spreading into the atmosphere surrounding the enclosure. The enclosure of the instrument is built to be strong enough to contain an explosion, and the electrical components within the enclosure are designed to prevent sparks or arcs from igniting any flammable substances that may be present.
On the other hand, an intrinsically safe instrument is a method of protection in which an explosion is prevented through an electrical design using energy storage devices in which the possibility of ignition is eliminated. Intrinsically safe instruments use low-voltage and low-current signals that cannot produce sparks or arcs that could ignite flammable substances.
The main difference between explosion-proof and intrinsically safe instruments is that explosion-proof instruments prevent an explosion from occurring within the instrument's housing, while intrinsically safe instruments limit the electrical energy within the instrument to prevent it from igniting a flammable atmosphere. Both technologies are used to prevent explosions in hazardous environments and provide a safe and reliable solution for measuring and monitoring in these environments. The choice of technology depends on the specific requirements and characteristics of the hazardous environment.
Now you’re in the know. If you have any questions regarding explosion-proof or intrinsically safe devices, please reach out to us. For more information on gas detection principles, check out our Gas Detection Handbook.