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

The leading ignition protection type is critical 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 instance, for the UHP pressure transducers of the WU series from WIKA. They are designed for used in semiconductor production.
Explosion protection is an indispensable safety precaution there. This is because the substances required for manufacturing include highly flammable gases. Consequently, you will find a risk of an explosive atmosphere forming.
Explosion protection concept
UHP pressure transducers for such processes must be designed with the corresponding safety. Besides 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 info on this:
II 3G Ex ec ic IIC T6/T5/T4 Gc X
The abbreviations listed inside them mean, in greater detail:
II 3G:
Equipment group 2 (every area except mining), may 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) since the start of 2022. However, this will not affect the Ex concept of the instruments.
IIC:
Explosion group (here: gases, resistive ignition energy of 40 �J, ideal for hydrogen/acetylene).
T6/T5/T4:
Temperature classes. T6 because the highest requirement means 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? ( World ) for zone 2 per IEC 60079-0
X:
Specific requirements which are listed in the operating instructions (for instance, the suitable mating connector).
?ec? is the leading ignition protection type
It is noticeable that the marking contains two ignition protection types. However, only 1 is pertinent for the electrical connection: the leading ignition protection type. Regarding the pressure transducers from the WU series, this is actually the Ex ec (Ex nA up to 2022) mentioned first and not the stricter Ex ic. This can also be observed in the bond values in the data sheet and operating instructions. Only the specification of the utmost supply voltage UN = 30 V, which is also stated in the IECEx certificate, is relevant here.
What does the classification ?Ex ic? are a symbol of? It only pertains to the potentiometer of the transducer. Spirited comes with an intrinsically safe circuit and can therefore be adjusted to improve 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 is present.
Note
Further information on the WUC-1x and WU-2x UHP pressure transducers and on the subject of hydrogen can be found on the WIKA website. Should you have any questions, your contact will gladly assist you to.
Also read our articles
Ex protection: The most common ignition protection types for sensors in gas hazardous areas
Ex protection: The difference between the zone and division model

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