Using Purged Computer Enclosures to Prevent Explosions

Posted by Matt Forsman

Jan 10, 2017 9:07:30 AM

Installing a purge control on a computer or pc enclosure is a popular method for deploying expensive electronics in hazardous areas.

Throughout the world, classified areas are commonplace in manufacturing environments. The classified areas exist to prevent hazardous gases and dust from igniting in the presence of electronics. Based on the National Electrical Code (NEC), there are two divisions used to describe classified areas. Division 1 is more hazardous than Division 2, because dangerous elements are more likely to be present in these areas. Therefore, Division 1 requires a higher level of protection than Division 2 locations.

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Commonly Asked Questions for Purged Computer Enclosures

Posted by Matt Forsman

Dec 22, 2015 2:08:22 PM

If you plan on installing an enclosure in a hazardous area, it is always paramount to install a ‘purge system’ that will withstand harsh surroundings and meet safety or regulatory compliance.

Purge systems are available in many different sizes and configurations, so it is wise to do the proper research and talk to a company or installer who has experience with this type of system. A poorly planned or poorly executed purge system can end up causing a disaster or explosion. But, first comes first, what is enclosure purging and how can it be used to protect computers and other essential peripherals?

How to find the best purge system for the application:

What is purging?  

Purging is the process of supplying enclosures with compressed air or inert gas at the proper flow and pressure, in order to reduce the hazardous gas inside of the enclosure to a safe or more moderate level. Pressurization is the process of bringing compressed air within an enclosure to a pressure where there is no ingress of hazardous gases or combustible dust. Both purging and pressurization are required in a Class I or gas atmosphere. However, only pressurization is required in a Class II area or dust atmosphere.

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Hazardous Area Purged Computer Enclosures

Posted by Matt Forsman

May 12, 2015 9:14:00 AM

Looking to install a computer enclosure in a hazardous area? 

The drive to improve productivity and overall quality has pushed the PC from an office environment to the factory floor. Continuing demand for process control and access to real time information is requiring computer systems to withstand environments where they were not intended to be used. The need to protect computers in hostile environments (flammable gases, vapors, or combustible dust) is extremely important. Commonly referred to as “hazardous locations,” these areas can contain flammables in concentrations that could quickly ignite if exposed to an electrical spark, flame, or sufficient heat. The lack of proper protection could result in the ignition of these explosives, which may lead to a loss of property or even a life.

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Defining Hazardous Area Computer Enclosures

Posted by Jennifer Bissell

Jan 21, 2015 5:02:00 PM

Deploying a computer in a hazardous area - where do you start?

The need to install computer enclosures in hazardous, classified locations is very common.  Process control, measuring and recording equipment exists in virtually every manufacturing process.  The requirement for explosion proof enclosures is extremely critical.

Hazardous, classified locations are defined as areas in manufacturing facilities where the atmosphere may contain flammable concentrations of gas, vapors or ignitable concentrations of dust or fibers.  It is customary for system designers and IT managers to specify the use of a NEMA 4 or NEMA 4X industrial computer enclosure with a pressurized purge system for these environments.

A purge system installed on a hazardous area computer enclosure will prevent ambient particulate or gas from entering the enclosure and ensure the safety of operators and equipment.

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