While there are many different types of motors out there, it remains extra crucial for any business to own an explosion-proof motor, especially if the warehouse has any hazardous locations around. Which makes it all the more critical for you to have one placed in that area, as having a regular motor that is not explosion-proof at all can inflict damage to the business and employers.
However, picking the right explosion-proof motor for the proper area is not an easy task, and there are a couple of things to look out for when you are choosing one.
1. Determine The Classification Of The Motor
Before you decide to do any other step, the first and foremost thing that you need to do is to check the classification, and afterwards, you can move on to the division and group of the motor. Do take note there is a total of three classes, Class I motors are placed in a location or environment where explosive vapours or flammable gases can be found. Some examples of Class I locations consist of gasoline storage/plants and petroleum.
On the other hand, Class II motors are usually commonly found in locations where huge amounts of potentially explosive or electrically conductive dust are present. Class II locations typically comprise of starch production plants and grain elevators. Last but not the least, are Class III motors which job is to make sure that the dust is kept out and the motor’s temperature is maintained and does not rise high enough to start an explosion. Examples of Class III locations include places where large quantities of sawdust can be spotted, such as flax processing plants and textile mills.
2. Verify The Motor’s Code Letters
While the class of the motor is critical, you should also take note of the various code letters that allocates each class of motor for the varying combustible substances.
There are two divisions that you should be able to point out when choosing a motor, a Division I location will be hazardous even when it is under normal conditions, such as when incendiary liquids or flammable particulate matter are produced. Whereas a Division II location only becomes hazardous when abnormal conditions occur, typically when a leak, burst or rupture happens as a result of seepage or spillage of inflammable substances.
After you are done with identifying the division location, you can then move on to the Group chart, where you will be looking at the behaviour of the hazardous material and its explosion/ignition characteristics. Those materials that are used in Groups A to D are for Class I environments, while those in Groups E to G are or Class II locations. You will have to adhere to this chart, and from there you can determine the class of motor that can only be used in a certain environment.
3. Make Sure The Motor Is Certified
Identifying the correct purpose of a motor is indeed vital, but don’t forget to make sure that the motors are subject to the rightful rules and has been certified by the Underwriter Laboratories (UL) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The equipment should also have an International Electrotechnical Commission Explosive (IECEx) certification as it shows that the machine has been tested and complies with the International Standards as stated in the Certificate. Such a certificate also attests that the manufacturing location has been inspected to make sure that the manufacturer’s quality system meets the requirements.
In an event that a motor has to be re-certified to meet the requirements by UL and ANSI, it will then go to the service centre which provides explosion proof motor repairs to help make sure that the motor returns to its former class and group before it underwent rebuilding.
4. Have The Service Centre Check The Motor Thoroughly
Even when a motor has gone through mechanical or electrical modelling, the UL-approved service centre is still responsible for ensuring the motor’s ability to suppress an explosion remains the same. While they are doing so, get them to do winding-over service protection to the reconstructed motor. And if the rebuilding needs a lot of work to be done, get the service centre to acquire the required electric motor parts in Singapore by contacting an experienced engineering company.
Basically, the most important to look out for here is to make sure that a certified professional does all the proper checks that are required so that the motor is all good when it is rebuilt.
5. Be Wary Of The Autoignition Temperature (AIT)
Now is the time for you to refer to the Group chart that you did at the beginning as you will have to take a look at the Autoignition Temperature (AIT) of the different types of hazardous material. What AIT means is the minimum temperature where there is enough energy for a chemical to catch fire spontaneously, even if there is no flame, spark or any other source of ignition.
Once you have understood the chart clearly, you will know which motor is most suitable for the specific autoignition temperature and hazardous environment, and in that way, you will be making sure that your environment is safe for both yourself and your employers.
Each warehouse will have at least one hazardous location, and if you don’t choose the right motor for it you are creating potential accidents that will cost the business, and in worst cases, even cause injuries, casualties and deaths. So do what you can to prevent such incidents from happening by making sure that you pick out the right explosion-proof motor and make sure that the electric motor installation is done right at the very start.