Although history only records back so far, I am certain (based on my experiences with sharp and heavy objects) that humans have been injuring themselves with tools, and the stuff they make with them, since the beginning of time. In fact, recorded history DOES bear this out…the famous Code of Hammurabi (circa 1750 B.C.) set specific amounts of compensation for specific injuries, as did laws from all over the ancient world, from the empires of Rome to China. Since then, we’ve come a long way in regulating safety not only for the worker in the workplace, but in public places, homes, and workplaces where manufactured products are used.
UL LLC (or Underwriters Laboratories, as they were known throughout the 20th Century) is a safety consulting & certification company founded in 1894 by an electrical engineer named William Henry Merrill. A year earlier, an insurance company hired Merrill to perform a risk assessment and investigation of new potential clients…George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla, the proprietors of the Palace of Electricity at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It was this experience that made him realize the potential for such an agency to test and set standards for product safety at the dawn of a new age of technology development. And 120 years on, the benefits in safety & protection have been proven many times over.
One of the more critical accreditations that a manufacturer can receive for a product is the UL Classified Mark. This differs from other markings (like the ones shown above for Certified, Listed, or Recognized) in that Classification means that samples of the product were tested & evaluated with respect to certain properties of the product.
EXAIR’s new Hazardous Location Cabinet Cooler Systems bear the UL Classified Mark. This means they meet the stringent UL requirements for installation on purged electrical enclosures in specific classified areas:
Class I Div 1, Groups A, B, C and D
Class II Div 1, Groups E, F and G
When choosing products for use in classified areas, it’s critical to ensure safety through compliance, and the HazLoc Cabinet Cooler Systems allow you to do that, with simplicity and reliability. If you’d like to discuss an enclosure cooling application, in or out of a classified area, give me a call.
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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.