Hazardous Materials In Texas Processing: Explosion Proof Motor Considerations
Texas is a large state with a lot of different types of processing and production. This can range from the processing of grains and other crops through to the manufacturing of chemicals, textiles, oil and gas products and even foods and pharmaceuticals.
In these processing applications, there is a very real concern for sparks and arcs creating a risk of explosion. This explosive risk can be a factor of specific flammable or explosive chemical use, dust in the area or even the actual products themselves. In some types of processing, even the heat generated from the use of an electric motor can pose a potential risk.
To eliminate any risk of fire or igniting of hazardous materials, several different companies now manufacturing and marketing an explosion proof motor. These companies include WEG, Baldor and Toshiba, with all designed to offer either single-phase or three-phase electric motors that are safe to use with hazardous materials.
Every explosion proof motor is designed for a specific type of environment. These motors will be classified in the United States under the National Electric Code or NEC. This provides three specific classes of motors as well as the types of environments for which they are approved.
* Class l – flammable gasses and vapors. This is most commonly required when hydrocarbons are present.
* Class ll – electrically conductive dust is present or dust may explode if exposed or combined with air.
* Class lll – ignitable filing and flyings. This is typically found in textile processing.
Under each class there are specific divisions. This is more about the environment and conditions where the specific type of hazardous material in the different Classes will be present. Divisions of an explosion proof motor are then further specified by Groups, which is an indication of what happens when the material ignites. The final consideration needs to be the auto-ignition of the specific hazardous material.
In addition to the environment and the hazardous material present, it will also be important to consider the specifics of the demands on the motor. Knowing the operating requirements and parameters will be an essential part of choosing the right size and type of explosion proof motor for the job.
While these motors are going to have a bigger impact on a budget for a Texas company, they are a necessity in providing a safe workplace. If you are not sure if you require this type of motor or if an enclosure or other type of shielding would be equally safe, talk to an expert on industrial design and then choose the option that is going to provide the level of protection to keep your plant and workers safe.