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Explosion-proof heaters meet latest IEC/EN 60079 safety standard

07 January 2014

Outdoor instrument protection specialist Intertec has requalified a broad range of its explosion-proof heaters and controllers, and formally validated their suitability for use in extremely cold environments. This development is likely to be of particular interest to designers of instrumentation systems requiring safety certification for hazardous areas, such as onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration/recovery projects in the Arctic polar region.

All Intertec ATEX and IECEx heaters and controllers are now certified as complying with the latest editions of the relevant parts of the IEC/EN 60079 safety standard for electrical equipment in explosive atmospheres. The materials, construction and performance of these products have been thoroughly tested by a third-party certification agency.


Representative samples of every ATEX and IECEx heater and controller currently manufactured by Intertec were tested under the auspices of Germany’s national metrology institute, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) - a Notified Body for ATEX and IECEx conformity assessment. To address the growing demand for explosion-proof environmental protection equipment suitable for very cold climates, Intertec requested that tests included verification of performance at minus 60 Celsius – far lower than many competitive products. All submitted products passed, and the PTB updated the certificates accordingly.


In Europe, ATEX approval is mandatory for all electrical equipment used in hazardous areas, while many countries around the world accept IECEx test reports as the basis for their own national safety certificates. When seeking safety approvals for a complete instrumentation system, designers benefit from the presumption of conformity to IEC/EN 60079 held by ATEX and IECEx approved devices, which do not in themselves require further safety assessment. However, as part of the harmonisation process, many safety standards now carry an expiry date, known as the ‘Date of cessation of presumption of conformity of superseded standard’. After this date, to obtain a safety certificate based on the latest standards, designers must ensure that all devices in the system – including ATEX and IECEx approved components – have been certified to the same revision of the standards.


Intertec’s range of explosion-proof heaters includes a wide variety of ATEX and IECEx compliant models, with individual power ratings from 25-600W and a choice of temperature classes. Different models cover the principal application areas of freeze protection, condensation protection and temperature maintenance, with a choice of convection or conduction heaters in each category. Special profile heaters are available for bringing liquid or gas samples in pipes or cylinders up to operational temperature, together with heat tracing cable and controller to protect exposed measuring lines. There is also a series of explosion-proof smart heaters for temperature maintenance that use a patented redundant control method of limiting their surface temperature to ensure safety.


Most of Intertec’s explosion-proof heaters and controllers are also available in versions that comply with country-specific standards. The company is currently obtaining supplements to the relevant national standards of various Asian countries, including China, Korea and India, prior to any necessary third-party compliance testing. 

For more information please contact Intertec Instrumentation Ltd: +44 (0)800 756,

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