Atex Radios. Ultimate Guide.

Atex Radios mean they are intrinsically safe. For those who have enquiring minds, Atex is an acronym for Atmospheres Explosible.

What does Atex mean ?

According to the HSE in the UK

“ATEX is the name commonly given to the two European Directives for controlling explosive atmospheres:

1) Directive 99/92/EC (also known as ‘ATEX 137’ or the ‘ATEX Workplace Directive’) on minimum requirements for improving the health and safety protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres. The text of the Directive and the supporting EU produced guidelines are available on the EU-website.

2) Directive 94/9/EC (also known as ‘ATEX 95’ or ‘the ATEX Equipment Directive’) on the approximation of the laws of Members States concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. “

The standard for Atex radios are set in Europe, by the two directives. Above and these directives are very important as they describe and inform people what equipment and work environment is allowed in areas that have potentially explosive atmospheres

There is also a separate legislation they adhere to and this is the IECEx

Atex two way radio key considerations

Atex 2 way radios must be able to adhere to the following points

  • They must be able to cope with temperatures within the rang of +45 degrees Celsius and _20 degrees Celsius – this is obviously a vast difference, but circumstances where Atex radio are used at often very harsh and require fluctuations in environment to be tolerated.
  • They must not be impeded by any third party objects.  This means they need to be impervious to any dusts, oils, fuels, liquids, chemicals and even water.  If product can get into the radio – potentially it could get out, ending in sparks which could cause explosions.
  • They must be able to contend with the impact of thermal sock without impediment of  operations.  This translates to the radios can cope with sudden changes in temperature i.e. going for a high temp to a cold one in a very short time frame.  Of course these will be between temperature range of the radios.
  • They must be extremely rugged and withstand usage in potentially heavy environments.  They need to be able to stay robust and intact even after knocks and drops.
  • They must be of a high IP rating, and this goes without saying as it is the IP rating which determines the level of dust and liquid ingress  – they need to be of the highest level to have the ability to resist dust and Liquids

Industries that use Atex walkie talkies

Many business have a total requirement for all Atex equipment or they have intrinsically safe areas, which means any operation carried out there must follow the rules and guidelines and any equipment sued in their be int tablets, mobile or phones need to be Atex approved.

Atex radios can work alongside non atex radios, so for those areas outside of this Atex / Intrinsically safe area can just be standard compatible radios. So do not worry a mixed fleet is completely acceptable as long as the same radios type (analogue / digital ) and Frequency band ( UHF / VHF / PMR446 License free radios)

Below are examples of industries where Atex radios are commonly used, so when considering your fleet, it would be wise to check if any areas requires this specialist.

– Petrochemical industries

– Timber Mills / Sawmills

– Papermills

– Flour Mills

– Oil Rigs and refineries

– Gas Companies

– Chemical Plants

– Airports

– Petrol Stations

– Mining

– Ports

As you can see there are many industries and business types covered  – some are quite surprising, and maybe you would not have considered intrinsically safe two way radios could be a requirement.  This is why it is important if you are planning a project for a client – you understand if there are any specific areas where radio use would be limited to, but legislation states they must use, intrinsically safe 2 way radio.

Atex Zones explained

Different Atex radios have different standards, so it is important to study the specifications of the radios to ensure it fits your industry legislation

We hope this table below helps you a little further.

Type of Atex two Way radios / intrinsically safe Walkie Talkies available

Most of the major manufacturers of two way radios have Atex product in their portfolio, often in the analogue mode or as digital radio product (which can be backward compatible to Analogue)

The radio operate on Licensed and PMR4476 licence free frequencies so there is plenty of choice available to meet your needs.

Which Atex radio Is best for me.

If you wish to contact us on 0191 2280466 / we can discuss your need with you directly, if you wish to have a little look at the most popular radios available , Apex are supplier Partners with the most popular two way radio manufacturers.

Manufacturers we support with Atex radios are as below – please click through the links to find out more and get in touch with any questions you may have.

Entel Atex two Way Radio