What is an explosive atmosphere (hazardous area)?
There is a risk of explosion when six conditions are simultaneously met:
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1 - Presence of an oxidant: the oxygen in air, for example.
2 - Presence of a combustible substance: flammable substance such as gas, vapor, powder or dust.
Several examples of combustibles:
Gas: methane, acetylene, butane, propane, hydrogen...
Vapors: ethyl alcohol, carbon disulfide, acetone...
Dust: wood, sugar, grain, starch, coal...
3 - Presence of an ignition source, which is a source of energy strong enough to ignite the combustible: this can be in the form of a flame, a spark, or a high temperature.
4 - Presence of combustible airborne substances (gas, dust, aerosols...), propagation factor.
5 - Confined space: for example a vehicle, work space...
6 - An explosive mixture (threshold), which means having attained a concentration of the combustible substance in the air sufficient to make an explosion possible.