ATEX stands for ATmosphères EXplosibles and is used as a synonym for two European directives in the field of explosion hazards under atmospheric conditions. The directive has a broad scope of applications and includes, in addition to gas explosion hazards, also dust explosion hazards.
An explosive atmosphere means a mixture, under atmospheric conditions, of air and one or more dangerous substances in the form of gases, vapours, mists or dust in which, after ignition has occurred, combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture.
The ATEX 114, previously ATEX 95, is an EC directive and is applied to the manufacture of installations and products in EX environments.
Also, we know the ATEX 153, formerly ATEX 137; this guideline applies to the environment, procedures, and instructions of employees working in an EX environment. This is summarised in an ESD, an Explosion Safety Document. These two directives are aimed at ensuring the health and safety of workers in potentially explosive atmospheres. ATEX 114 contributes to the free trade within the EU of equipment and protective systems used in these markets.