Using intrinsically safe testing tools in the mining and industrial sectors is of the “utmost importance” amid the explosive gases, vapours and dust in those industries, says testing and measurement equipment provider Comtest technical sales manager Gerrit Barnard.
Devices that are certified as intrinsically safe are designed to ensure that they do not release the energy required to ignite flammable material.
He adds that Comtest’s most recent offering, the Fluke 28-II Ex digital multimeter, is ideal for testing in any dusty or wet environment where there could be flammable gas.
A digital multimeter is a testing tool used to measure two or more electrical values – principally voltage, current and resistance.
It is a standard diagnostic tool for technicians in the electrical or electronic industries.
The digital multimeter has replaced needle-based analogue meters, owing to its ability to measure with greater accuracy, reliability and increased impedance, and combines the testing capabilities of single-task meters such as the voltmeter, ammeter and ohmmeter.
The multimeter is IP67-certified, water- and dustproof, with a three-metre-drop rating.
Barnard says that, through a coating on the circuit board, that effectively seals the components, the chance of a spark occurring is greatly reduced.
The digital multimeter uses Bussmann fuses, manufactured by multinational power management company Eaton, and has the same voltage rating as the multimeter, arresting any spark that might occur.
The digital multimeter can be used inside and outside hazardous zones without compromising on compliance or measurement performance.
Meanwhile, these multimeters can often include several additional specialised features such as the safety feature warning if the user accidentally connects the leads in the wrong ports relative to the multimeter setting.
Technicians can, therefore, use a very safe Ex-rated multimeter with confidence, says Barnard.
“The 28-II Ex has been well received in the petroleum industry and many companies have now standardised on this meter for use.”
Barnard stresses that workers are not allowed to carry tools that are not intrinsically safe through an area that is classified as explosive, even if they are not “powered up” because the tool could accidentally be activated, creating a safety risk.
Should a client be concerned about theft, Comtest can customise the scope of supply and laser-engrave the company logo on the meter to help mitigate the risk, he concludes.