FAQs about the topic of ATEX and IP protection classes

Many CeoTronics customers ask why, for example, our intrinsically safe products are not classified in an even better protection class.

When it comes to ATEX, this corresponds to the usability of our receiver / talk systems in potentially explosive areas. It is often assumed that it would make sense to have products certified better than T4. But in practice, the T4 protection class is entirely sufficient, since there is no chemical gas, for example, that falls under “T5.” An ATEX certificate according to T5 would therefore simply be a marketing gimmick at the expense of the customer. The “T6” protection class exclusively includes highly toxic carbon disulfide, in the presence of which it is essential to wear a full protective suit. In these cases, communication systems are not worn over, but rather under the protective suits, which means that a certification better than T4 is also not necessary here. In general, ATEX products from CeoTronics are considered to be extremely intrinsically safe, since they are also classified in the strictest category (class C) among the explosion subgroups.

The two-digit IP classification, on the other hand, categorizes products according to how difficult it is for foreign bodies and liquids to penetrate into a product. The first digit indicates the maximum size of the foreign bodies. Digits 1 to 4 stand for foreign bodies from 50 mm to 1 mm. Digits 5 and 6 cover dust particles.

An example: A product can be classified with 5, for example, even though dust is able to penetrate, provided that it does not disrupt the function. The classification of 6 means absolutely dust-proof. Each class automatically includes all underlying classes. In short, the higher the number, the more “impervious” it is. However, the highest level is not always absolutely necessary for every product application.

The second digit of the IP class indicates how “waterproof” a product is. The spectrum here ranges from class 1 for vertically incident water drops to class 6, in which products must withstand jet water from a 125 mm nozzle with 100 liters per minute. Classes 7 and 8 refer to the time a product is in the water. 8 in this case means a deeper immersion or longer immersion than required under 7. Class 8 includes the aforementioned classification 7, but not the classifications 1 to 6! The reason for this: Jet water can penetrate a product in certain places, even though it has passed the immersion test. The classification according to 7 or 8 is therefore not automatically “better” than 5 or 6.

CeoTronics does not always base the IP certification of products according to the highest possible certification, but rather according to the certification that is suitable for the predominant number of applications. In practice, for example in fire department applications, the IP classification of 6 is often preferable to 7 or even 8.