What is the best ignition protection type for UHP pressure transducers?

Reveal leading ignition protection type is crucial for the electrical connection of a pressure sensor with explosion protection. It does not necessarily have to be the one with the stricter requirements. This applies, for example, for the UHP pressure transducers of the WU series from WIKA. They have been designed for used in semiconductor production.
Explosion protection is an indispensable safety precaution there. The reason being the substances required for manufacturing include highly flammable gases. Consequently, there is a risk of an explosive atmosphere forming.
Explosion protection concept
UHP pressure transducers for such processes must be made with the corresponding safety. In addition to their small design and specific process connections, the models WUC-1x and WU-2x have a thorough explosion protection concept. The marking of the instruments provides information on this:
II 3G Ex ec ic IIC T6/T5/T4 Gc X
The abbreviations listed in them mean, in greater detail:
II 3G:
Equipment group 2 (all areas except mining), can be used in zone 2 (rare and short-term Ex atmosphere).
Ex ec ic:
Ignition protection types ?ec? (increased safety) and ?ic? (intrinsically safe; zone 2).
?Ex ec? has replaced the ignition protection type ?Ex nA? (non-sparking) because the start of 2022. However, this will not affect the Ex idea of the instruments.
IIC:
Explosion group (here: gases, resistive ignition energy of 40 �J, ideal for hydrogen/acetylene).
T6/T5/T4:
Temperature classes. T6 as the highest requirement stands for a maximum permissible surface temperature in the Ex environment < 85 �C (max. surface temperature of the WUC-1x and WU-2x: 40 �C).
Gc:
?Equipment Protection Level? (EPL) for zone 2 per IEC 60079-0
X:
Specific requirements which are listed in the operating instructions (for instance, the best mating connector).
?ec? is the leading ignition protection type
It really is noticeable that the marking contains two ignition protection types. However, only one is relevant for the electrical connection: the leading ignition protection type. Regarding the pressure transducers from the WU series, it is the Ex ec (Ex nA around 2022) mentioned first and not the stricter Ex ic. This can also be seen in the connection values in the data sheet and operating instructions. Only the specification of the utmost supply voltage UN = 30 V, that is also stated in the IECEx certificate, is relevant here.
What does the classification ?Ex ic? stand for? Skill pertains to the potentiometer of the transducer. The resistive component comes with an intrinsically safe circuit and can therefore be adjusted to correct zero drift during operation. Within their overall form, the WU models do not require an intrinsically safe circuit. However, they must never be disconnected from the circuit during operation or when an Ex atmosphere exists.
Note
Further information on the WUC-1x and WU-2x UHP pressure transducers and about hydrogen can be found on the WIKA website. In case you have any questions, your contact will gladly help you.
Also read our articles
Ex protection: The most typical ignition protection types for sensors in gas hazardous areas
Ex protection: The difference between the zone and division model

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