Getting IECEx Zone 2 Certified Products into the North American Market
Electrical equipment to be used in a hazardous location must be designed so that there are no hot surfaces inside or outside each component and so that no arcing/sparking can occur. In other words, the equipment cannot become a source of ignition in such a location, and it must be certified as safe.
The IEC Zone classification system is used to certify products as safe for use in the international marketplace. Products certified for use in Zone 2 of the IEC Zone classification system have already been proven to be in compliance with the IEC 60079 series of Standards and one or more of the following protection techniques:
- Ex ic (Intrinsic safety)
- Ex ec (Increased Safety)
- Ex nA (Non-arcing)
- Ex nC (Sealed device)
- Ex nR (Restricted breathing)
- Ex mc (Encapsulation)
- Ex pzc (Pressurized)
- Ex dc (Flameproof)
- Ex oc (Oil immersion)
We should note, however, that even when products have a valid IECEx certificate, they cannot be installed in North America, unless they meet additional North American certification requirements.
These products must meet the following additional conditions if they are to be used in the North American marketplace:
- Equipment must first comply with the general safety, also known as ordinary location Standards. Different types of electrical equipment have their own ordinary location Standards
- Equipment must comply with the North American national deviations CSA/UL 60079 series – additional requirements that might involve additional testing
- Equipment must also comply with installation restrictions in accordance with the Canadian Electric Code (CEC) and the National Electric Code (NEC) in the US
Furthermore, the Canadian Electric Code and National Electric Code require that wiring in Zone 2 that enters or leaves such equipment needs be protected by a conduit installation or special cables to protect the wiring system against mechanical damage, except non-incendive or intrinsically safe wiring which have their own wiring requirements.
IEC certified Zone 2 equipment, once it complies with these North American requirements, gets the following marking:
Class I, Zone 2, Ex ec IIC T4 Gc for example
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