• head image ATEX


The term ATEX refers to the directive of the European Union related to explosion protection and is derived from the French abbreviation for „atmosphères explosibles“. 

What exactly does ATEX mean?

The new ATEX directives regulate throughout the EU the placing on the market and the proper use of electrical and mechanical/non-electrical equipment, protective systems and components in explosion-hazard areas for manufacturers (2014/34/EU) as well as for the operators (1999/92/EG). 

The former directive 94/9/EG – ATEX 95 on explosion protection serves as a legal basis, it has been embedded in German law since March 1st, 1996 and regulates the use of explosion-proof equipment, protective systems and components in mining and other industries with potentially explosive atmospheres. A hazardous explosive atmosphere is created by a mixture of air and combustible gases, vapours, mists or dusts.

After a seven-year transition phase, the application of the explosion protection directives became obligatory from July 1st, 2003. The ATEX directive of the European Union standardised the legislation in force at the time in all EU member states and was taken as a reference until the mandatory application date on April 20th, 2016.

Laws and guidelines 


  • ATEX operation guideline 1999/92/EG
  • ATEX product guideline2014/34/EU
  • Machinery directive 2006/42/EG
  • Pressure equipment directive 2014/68/EU


  • TRGS (technical rules for hazardous substances)
  • TRBS (technical rules for operational safety)
  • DGUV (german statutory accident insurance )
  • BGR (trade association order)
  • BGV (trade association  rules)

The products are subdivided into two groups: group 1 is applicable for mining, group 2 refers to all other sectors where potentially explosive atmospheres can form. Depending on the individual degree of hazard, the product is assigned to a zone. Also the frequency and duration of the formation of explosive atmospheres are evaluated and are an aspect to allocate the product according to safety criteria.

Detailed information on zones, ignition temperatures and temperature classes can be found in our ATEX know-how.

Know-How ATEX

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