NEMA, UL, IP, UL Classified and ATEX ratings

EXAIR manufactures Cabinet Coolers to keep your electrical components cool inside.  This will help to prevent any costly shutdowns or premature electrical failures due to overheating.  The EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System is a simple device that generates cold air with no moving parts, motors, condensers, or Freon.  They are maintenance-free with a long-life cycle, and installation is quick and easy.  But when mounting the system to your electrical panel, you want to make sure that the Cabinet Cooler meets or exceeds the integrity standard for that environment.  There are standards that categorize electrical panels to protect workers, shield the panel from the environment, and sustain the internal electrical components.   

Electrical panels come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and can be used in a variety of environments, including indoor, outdoor, and even hazardous locations.  Depending on the place and setting, you will need to determine the minimum requirements for the integrity of your electrical panel.  For example, you do not want to use an “indoor only” electrical enclosure for outside areas.  Also, you would not want a standard enclosure to be used in a hazardous area, as it can be very dangerous.  The major organizations that create these electrical standards are NEMA, UL, and IP.  In this blog, I will cover these organizations and how they use the rating system.  

NEMA, or National Electrical Manufacturer Association, and UL, or Underwriters Laboratory, are generally used in North America.  The difference between these two organizations is that the NEMA ratings are self-certifying, while the UL requires testing by qualified inspectors, independent of the manufacturer, for compliance.  They use numbers and, in some instances, letters to indicate the type of environment in which the enclosure can operate. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are UL listed, so they have been tested and verified.  Currently, there are over 20 different NEMA/UL classifications

IP, or Ingress Protection, is an international standard commonly used in Europe and established by the International Electrotechnical Commission, or IEC.  This organization also allows for self-certification.  They use two digits to define levels of integrity for electrical enclosures against intrusion from debris and liquid. The first digit ranges from 0 to 6, which specifies the protection rating from solids.  The second digit, which ranges from 0 to 9, specifies the protection rating for the ingress of water.  The higher the number, the better the protection.  The combination of these two numbers will determine the protection level of the enclosure against dust and water.  There is an equivalence between the NEMA ratings and the IP ratings, but it is up to the preference of the user to verify the protection requirement.   

EXAIR offers three main NEMA types for our Cabinet Cooler Systems, which are the most commonly found within most facilities.  We also offer two additional NEMA ratings that are designated strictly for hazardous locations: UL Classified and ATEX rated.   

From right to left: Small NEMA 12, Large NEMA 12, Large NEMA 4X

NEMA 12 (IP54) Cabinet Coolers are rated for dust and oil tight. NEMA 12 cabinet coolers are ideal for general industrial environments where no liquids or corrosives are present and are located inside the facility.  

NEMA 4 (IP66) Cabinet Coolers are rated for dust tight, oil tight, splash-resistant and indoor/outdoor service. These Cabinet Coolers incorporate a low-pressure relief valve to allow the internal hot air to escape as well as to close and seal when the cooler is not in operation.  This allows this Cabinet Cooler to maintain the integrity of a NEMA 4 enclosure.  

NEMA 4X (IP66) Cabinet Coolers offer the same protection as NEMA 4 but are constructed of stainless steel for food service and corrosive environments.  EXAIR offers both 303SS and 316SS materials.  

HazLoc Cabinet Coolers are designed for hazardous locations and are mounted to NEMA 7, 8, and 9 enclosures.  EXAIR catalogs these Cabinet Coolers as NEMA 4 (IP66) or NEMA 4X (IP66), as mentioned above.  But their registration for UL classified is for Class I, Class II, and Class III hazardous areas, both Div 1 and Div 2.  The reason that they do not match the NEMA rating of the hazardous panels is because they require an X-type or Z-type purge system.  In combination, they will not sacrifice the integrity of the hazardous electrical panels.   

ATEX Cabinet Coolers have similar attributes as HazLoc Cabinet Coolers except this type of registration is popularly used in Europe.  These area classifications fall under the EN/IEC 60079-2 international standard for explosive zones.  It covers three zones in two hazardous areas, gas/liquid and dust.  The ATEX Cabinet Coolers can be used in Zone 2 for gas/liquid and Zone 22 for dust.  Like the HazLoc Cabinet Coolers, to keep their classification, the ATEX Cabinet Coolers require a Zone 2/22 purge system.  The ATEX terminology is as follows:  

Gas – CE EX II 3 G Ex h IIC T3 Gc

Dust – CE EX II 3 D Ex h IIIC 200oC Dc  

EXAIR offers a variety of Cabinet Coolers in stock with different cooling capacities, materials of construction, and operational locations.  We also offer them in 316SS, high temperature versions, and non-hazardous purge.  We do have a Cabinet Cooler System Sizing Guide to help determine the best product for your application or a Cabinet Cooler System Calculator to do it yourself.  For any hazardous location, we do recommend contacting us for clarification.  If you have any questions, an Application Engineer at EXAIR can assist you.    

John Ball
Application Engineer
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

Hazardous Locations – Class 2 Div 1, Groups E, F & G 

Per the National Electrical Code (NEC) there are (3) classifications for areas that are defined as hazardous.  They are Class I (gases & vapors), Class II (flammable dusts) & Class III (fibers), the focus of today’s Blog is on Class II locations.

Class II locations are those that are hazardous because of the presence of combustible dust. Note that the dust must be present in sufficient quantities for a fire or explosion hazard to exist. The fact that there is some combustible dust present does not mean a Class II hazardous location exists. Dust is defined as a combustible material that must exist as a finely divided solid of 420 microns (0.420 mm) or less. This will allow the dust to pass through a No. 40 sieve.  Just as in Class I, Division 1 and 2, the subdivision of Class II into Divisions 1 and 2 identifies the likelihood that there is an explosion hazard.

Division 1 locations are defined as an area where the amount of combustible dust is either suspended in the air or accumulated on surfaces in a sufficient concentration to allow for ignition.  The ignition could be caused by a failure or malfunction of the equipment in the classified area.  Group E & F dust (see chart below) are considered conductive and could penetrate into electrical equipment such as electric motors, control panels, electrical panels, etc., and cause an electrical failure.


Group E dusts are metal dusts, such as aluminum and magnesium. In addition to being highly abrasive, and likely to cause overheating of motor bearings if it gets into them. Group E dusts are also electrically conductive and if they are allowed to enter an enclosure can cause an electrical failure.


Group F dusts are carbonaceous, the primary dust in this group is coal dust. Coal dust has a lower ignition temperatures than those in Group E.  While Group F dust has a higher thermal insulating value than the layer of Group E.  Therefore Group F requires more control of the temperature on the surfaces that the dust settles on. Group E dusts are semi-conductive, however if the voltages are 600 volts or less it is not generally considered a factor.


Group G dusts include plastic dusts, most chemical dusts and food-grain dusts. They are not electrically conductive. Generally these dusts have the highest thermal insulating characteristics and the lowest ignition temperatures. Therefore, the equipment used in Group G areas must have the lowest surface temperatures to prevent ignition of a layer.


Lastly, equipment rated for use in Classified Environments have a rating called the Temperature Code or “T-Code”.  This is the temperature or temperature range that the rated device will operate normally and/or in a failed or failing state.  Consider something as common as a light fixture, electric motors, etc., as they could become hot enough to cause ignition depending on the type of dust in the area.  So be sure to check the “T-Codes” for every piece of equipment that will be used within a Classified Environment.


When you are looking for expert advice on Hazardous Location Cabinet Coolers or safe, quiet and efficient point of use compressed air products give us a call.   We would enjoy hearing from you.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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Twitter: @EXAIR_JS

Life’s Full of Hazards – Make Sure Your Electrical Panels Don’t Become One

Not my crutches… but let’s just say I have a few sets of these in the garage ready for the next one!

All of my life I’ve been known as injury-prone. From early on it was apparent that my life was going to be wrought with random hazards and injuries and into adulthood we’ve maintained that sentiment. Just in my time here at EXAIR , I’ve had the pleasure of breaking an ankle running to 1st base in a softball game, being concussed from another softball game (I’ve since retired from softball might I add), as well as tearing both my hamstrings while racing a colleague on the field at Paycor Stadium during a tour. In my childhood, I had to be transported to what has recently been named the #1 children’s hospital in the USA, Cincinnati Children’s, to remove a section of fence that impaled my ankle during a failed attempt at jumping said fence. This is not the full list, far from it actually, but I think you get the idea.

Life is always going to be full of hazards and safety is incredibly important. When it comes to Hazardous Locations in an industrial facility, we’re talking about some very serious repercussions to both people and property if strict guidelines aren’t adhered to. In an area where you have control panels operating near combustible vapors or particles, it’s critical that these panels are constructed in a manner consistent with the regulations put forth by UL. One critical component of these panels are EXAIR’s Hazardous Location Cabinet Coolers.

EXAIR HazLoc Cabinet Cooler Systems are rated for Class I Div 1 & 2, Class II Div 1 & 2, and Class III environments.

EXAIR’s Hazardous Location Cabinet Coolers are engineered for use with purged (not included) electrical enclosures. The HazLoc Cabinet Coolers are not purged and pressurized control systems and should not be relied upon nor used in place of a purged and pressurized controller. They are a cooling solution meant to be used in conjunction with a purged and pressurized control system. These systems have been approved and tested by UL for use in the following areas:

Class I Div 1&2 – Groups A, B, C, and D

  • Class I Areas refer to the presence of flammable gases or vapors in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures. Class I Div 1 will have ignitable concentrations of flammable gases present during the course of normal operations. This is level of approval is one that differentiates the EXAIR Hazardous Location Cabinet Coolers from much of the competition. Class 1 Div 2 areas will have flammable gasses or vapors present only in the event of an accident or during unusual operating conditions.

Class II Div 1&2 – Groups E, F, and G

  • Class II areas are locations in which combustible dust may exist. The end user shall avoid installation of the device in a Class II environment where dust may be readily disturbed from the exhausts of the Hazardous Location Cabinet Cooler. Any dust formed in the vicinity of the cooler must be cleaned regularly.

Class III

  • Class III areas are locations that will have ignitable fibers or flyings present. This is common within the textile industry.

The Cabinet Cooler also carries a temperature rating of T3C, meaning it cannot be installed near any materials that could auto-ignite at temperatures in excess of 320°F. For a comprehensive list and description of all the various Classified areas, check out the UL website.

The Hazardous Location Cabinet Cooler is available in (8) different cooling capacities ranging from 1,000 Btu/hr – 5,600 Btu/hr. The Cabinet Cooler is the best solution for protecting your sensitive electronics from heat, dirt, and moisture. With Nema 4/4X systems available, the Hazardous Location Cabinet Coolers will keep the cabinet cool without compromising the integrity of the enclosure.

If you’ve got an electrical cabinet installed within a hazardous location, fill out the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide and allow an EXAIR Application Engineer to determine the most suitable model for you.

Tyler Daniel, CCASS

Application Engineer


Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Crutches photo courtesy of Anthony Crider via Flickr Creative Commons License

EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products: Leading the Way in Standards Compliance

EXAIR prides itself in offering products with high-performance and peak efficiency. All EXAIR products are manufactured to meet the strict requirements of a variety of different standards, ensuring that you receive a reliable, high quality product that WILL perform to the specifications we publish.

Safety is a top priority for most companies, EXAIR’s line of Intelligent Compressed Air Products meet or exceed the strict safety standards set forth by both OSHA and the European Union. EXAIR products comply with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.242(b), the standard implemented to ensure safe operation of compressed air blowoff devices, and the EU General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC).

The engineered design of our Super Air Nozzles prevents compressed air from penetrating the skin by eliminating the potential of dead-ending when pressed against the skin.

OSHA Chart

Additionally, they comply with the noise limitation requirements set forth under 29 CFR 1910.95(a) and the EU Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC). From the Optimization product line, EXAIR’s Electronic Flow Control and the Electronic Temperature Control meet the low voltage standards of EU Low Voltage Directive (2006/95/EC). A CE label is placed on all products that comply with applicable directives.


UL, or Underwriters Laboratories, is a third-party safety and consulting organization that certifies products after thorough testing and evaluation. EXAIR’s Cabinet Coolers are UL Listed to US and Canadian safety standards. Static Eliminators are also UL Component Recognized. Within our line of Cabinet Coolers is the Hazardous Location Cabinet Cooler, bearing the Classified UL mark for use in classified areas.


In the assembly of electrical products there can be hazardous materials used during production. The Restriction of Hazardous Substances, also known as RoHS or (2002/95/EC), restricts the use of materials such as: lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), hexavalent chromium (CrVI), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), and four different phthalates. The electrical portions of EXAIR’s Static Eliminators, Electronic Flow Control, Electronic Temperature Control, Digital Flowmeter, solenoid valves, and thermostats all comply with the amendment outlined in the European Commission decision L 214/65.

In addition to RoHS, EXAIR is also committed to providing products that are conflict mineral free. In support ofconflictfree_v2 Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer protection Act, EXAIR complies with the conflict minerals rule to curb illicit trade of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold in the DRC region. Using the CMRT 4.20 template, we’re able to document our supply chain to ensure our materials are not being sourced from places that could finance conflict in the DRC and surrounding countries.

reachFinally, per Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 Title I, Article 3, paragraph 3, the European Union enacted legislation requiring substances and chemicals imported into the EU to be registered to ensure a high level of protection for human health and the environment. Per Title II, Article 7, paragraph 1, articles must be registered when a substance is intended to be released during normal conditions of use that would exceed 1 metric ton per producer per year. Since EXAIR products do not contain substances that are intentionally released, registration is not required.

If you’re looking to maintain compliance in your industry, EXAIR products have you covered. If you have any questions about these standards of compliance feel free to reach out to us. Our team of Application Engineers have years of experience in industry are waiting to take your call.

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD