The National Electrical Code, or NEC, classifies hazardous areas into three different categories; Class I, Class II, and Class III. To use equipment in or around these types of areas, caution has to be taken in order to not cause an explosion or fire. In the U.S., the Underwriter’s Laboratory, UL, can certify products that can be used safely in these hazardous areas. EXAIR received our UL Classification for our new product line; the HazLoc Cabinet Cooler Systems. Under certain guidelines, the HazLoc Cabinet Coolers can be used in Class I for gases and vapors, Class II for flammable dust, and Class III for ignitable fibers and flyings. In this blog, I will be discussing the Class III classified area.
For a fire or an explosion to occur, we need three things as described in the fire triangle; oxygen, fuel, and an ignition source. For Class III areas, that fuel is a build-up of material like fabric lint and fine wood shavings. These small fibers can float and collect on equipment in the surrounding areas. This collection of material can easily ignite and cause a fire from a spark or a heat source, like kindling. These fibrous materials and flyings are not explosive, but as a collection, they are a fire hazard; the reason for the Class III designation. This newest hazardous classification is generally located within the textile and woodworking industries.
The ignition source (the second leg of the fire triangle) is generally from electrical equipment, heat, and static. Arcs and sparks from motors, contactors, and switches can easily ignite Class III materials; as well as high temperatures from equipment. NEC and UL segregate this hazardous location into two divisions. Class III Division 1 is in an area where fibers/flyings are handled, manufactured, or used. Class III Division 2 is where the fibers/flyings are stored or handled other than in the process of manufacturing. In both divisions, it is important to protect your electrical systems from these small fibers floating in the surrounding air.
The EXAIR HazLoc Cabinet Cooler Systems are designed to keep your electrical panels cool within hazardous areas like Class III because system shutdowns from electrical overheating are costly and potentially dangerous. If you would like to discuss the details about the EXAIR HazLoc Cabinet Coolers, an Application Engineer at EXAIR will be happy to help you.