With effect from 2016, the previously well-known standards EN 13463-1:2009 and EN 13462-5:2011 ‘c’ were replaced by the latest generation of standards EN 80079-36:2016-12 ‘h’ and EN 80079-37:2016-12 ‘h’.

A presumption of conformity applies to the earlier standard. This means that, during a transitional period of three years (until May 2019) this does not lose its validity.

Caution:: Consider competitors’ behaviour and customer behaviour. It can be assumed that equipment complying with the new standard is already in circulation, and that in the medium term, customers or IECEx national bodies will demand the new designation.

ATEX mechanical EX-protection – What’s changed:

  1. Designation: Irrespective of the ignition protection type, the letter ‘h’ is always assigned.
  2. The ignition protection types are described in EN 80079-37. Proceed as with EN13463-5:2003. In terms of ignition protection type, constructional safety is virtually unchanged. The table in EN13463 Part 1 is still recommended for assessing the danger of ignition.
  3. There is no longer a TX designation
  4. Analogous to electrical ignition protection, the EPL has been introduced. This means that not only the zone now determines equipment selection, but that the effect of the explosion is now also taken into account.
  5. If the actual maximum surface temperature no longer depends on the equipment itself, but mainly depends on the operating conditions, the manufacturer can no longer assign a designation with a temperature class or temperature. Instead, the designation must include a T-range or ambient temperature range (eg T6…T4 or 85°C…150°C).
    Furthermore, there are some particular characteristics that apply to equipment in Group II Gb and Gc: for example, when carrying out the type test, safety margins depend on the temperature classes.
  6. The combined GD designation can no longer be used for gas and dust. As is the case with electrical Ex protection, designation is divided into Gas G/Dust D.


Whether a mechanical device is subject to the directive is described in the guide notes to Directive 2014/34/EU Section 42.

IECEx mechanical EX-protection – What’s changed:

Everything, because this did not exist until now!

  1. IEC-Ex has incorporated non-electrical standards IEC 80079-36 and -37.
  2. At the time of writing (May 2017), there are hardly any certification bodies inspecting this standard in the IEC process.
  3. Applicable to purely mechanical equipment as well as equipment with clearly mechanical parts (solenoid valve).
  4. Conformity assessment procedure will be applied in accordance with ATEX/IECEx.
  5. IECEx sees the expansion as a ‘proposal’!
  6. In the valve sector, the first approvals are already taking place. What effects this will have on the acceptance of mechanical equipment that has not been inspected to IEC standards is open to speculation.
  7. The process resembles that relating to electrical Ex protection. COC and QAR issue the certificate. In the IECEx scheme, inspection by a third party is obligatory. This applies to both the product and the process.