What is an Explosion Proof Pump & Where is it Used?

Who needs an explosion-proof pump?

Some manufacturing processes involve fluids that can be flammable or the environment contains flammable vapors. Fluids such as alcohol or petroleum derivatives or some chemicals present risks of causing combustion.

There are also environmental conditions that require explosion-proof pumps. While the fluids being pumped may not be flammable, the environment in which they operate may have flammable dust. Environments in which flammable dust exists such as coal, grain/starch dust require specific types of pumps. When these conditions exist, pumps that keep fluids flowing through the system need to be configured to minimize the risk and the impact of potential explosions.

If you are adding or replacing a pump used in a process that involves flammable fluids, chemicals, or operates in an environment that may produce combustible vapors but are not certain of the required specifications, call us (1-800-786-7249) and talk with one of our engineers to ensure the pump you receive is the correct one for your application.

What makes a pump explosion-proof?

Explosion-proof pumps really are about the motor and the electrical components. The motor, switches, and plug must be contained such that any combustion from them cannot reach the fluid or be exposed to the external environment before being mitigated.

Flame Paths

The key aspect of the explosion-proof pumps is not that it prevents combustion, but it controls an explosion if it occurs. These pumps use flame paths. The flame paths control the direction of the combustion, letting gasses to escape, having let them cool enough to mitigate the explosion risk.

NEC NEC hazards classes, divisions, groups

Class I: Vapors

Locations in which flammable vapors and gases may be present.

Group A: Aceteylene

Group B: Hydrogen

Group C: Ethylene

Cyclopropane, Ethyl Ether

Group D: Propane

Acetone, Ammonia, Benzene, Butane, Ethanol, Gasoline, Methanol, Natural Gas.

Class II: Dust

Locations with combustible dust in the environment.

Group E:Metal Dust

Comprising atmospheres containing metal dust including aluminum, magnesium, and their commercial alloys, and other metals of similarly hazardous characteristics.

Group F: Coal Dust

Comprising atmospheres containing carbon black, coal, or coke dust.

Group G:Grain Dust

Comprising atmospheres containing flour, starch or grain dust, and other dust of similarly hazardous characteristics.

Division 1:
The presence of ignitable concentrations or hazards exists under regular operating conditions or where a hazard is caused by frequent maintenance/repair work.

Call PumpBiz with any question regarding explosion-proof pumps.