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What You Need To Know About Explosion-Proof Outlets
Sep 04, 2023

Explosion-proof outlet

If there is one thing we cannot live without, it is electricity. However, working with electricity carries potential hazards, even more so if your business deals with hazardous or explosive materials. In these instances, you will require explosion-proof switch socket outlets to supply the workspace with power while safeguarding the well-being of your employees and property.

What is an explosion-proof outlet?

Explosion-proof-receptacle

If you are not already aware, an explosion-proof power outlet, often referred to as an explosion-proof receptacle or electrical box, is a device specifically engineered to minimise the risk of electrical equipment igniting flammable substances in hazardous locations. These hazardous locations include environments with a constant presence of combustible gases or dust, creating a heightened risk of explosions, thus making standard electrical outlets unpractical. 

So what separates explosion-proof switch socket outlets from their regular counterparts? Unlike run-of-the-mill outlets, explosion-proof receptacles are designed to withstand extreme conditions, with strict adherence to stringent industry standards to ensure their reliability and effectiveness. Robust materials are used during construction to contain any potential explosion within the enclosure, thus preventing them from igniting the surrounding atmosphere.

How does an explosion-proof outlet function?

Sparks or arcs shooting out of an electrical outlet do not automatically mean they will catch fire when escaping from the outlet and into the atmosphere. However, they might if they were in a room filled with combustible or explosive substances like methane or propane.

Having an explosion-proof switch socket outlet in the same situation does not mean the receptacle will survive the explosion. However, it can contain sparks or arcs within the enclosure, preventing them from igniting the gases in the environment. So how does the equipment achieve that? Let us find out. 

Outside of using non-sparking, corrosion-resistant, and durable materials, such as cast aluminium or stainless stain, during the construction of the equipment, the receptacle also features a robust sealing mechanism, often involving threaded or bolted covers, to create a hermetic seal. This seal prevents the entry of flammable gases or dust into the enclosure.

Furthermore, the outlet offers high internal pressure resistance, enabling it to withstand an explosion. Should an electrical fault or spark occur within the enclosure, triggering an explosion, the blast will be contained within the receptacle, preventing it from propagating into the hazardous atmosphere. Users can also rest easy knowing that these pieces of equipment must undergo rigorous testing and certification process to be considered explosion-proof.

What businesses require explosion-proof outlets?

Explosion-proof switch socket outlets are not necessary in every workplace. However, they are essential in industries where hazardous conditions are prevalent. You may also require this equipment if you work in a confined space lacking adequate ventilation. After all, a tight, enclosed environment is more susceptible to buildups of dangerous substances.

Extrapolating from this information, we can determine that these explosion-proof receptacles are ideal for the following sectors:

  • Chemical processing plants
  • Construction sites
  • Gasoline distribution companies
  • Grain mills and silos
  • Industrial operations
  • Mining operations
  • Oil refineries
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Warehouses

Explosion-proof switch socket outlets are vital in industries where the risk of explosions is a constant concern. However, you must use them in conjunction with explosion-proof plugs and other certified equipment to ensure maximum effectiveness. Adhering to these work safety practices and implementing the appropriate tools where necessary will help reduce the risk of catastrophic events and create a safer working environment for your workers.

If you seek reliable explosion-proof electrical equipment, look no further than Supermec. With over 40 years of experience in the industry, you can rest easy knowing that our products are manufactured according to recommended safety guidelines, offering the best quality and on-time solutions. Visit our website today to browse our comprehensive catalogue.


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