IECEx Fans

What is an IECEx Fan?

An IECEx fan is one that has been constructed in accordance with EN ISO 80079-36 & EN ISO 80079-37 to safely operate in a hazardous or explosive atmosphere.

The compliance with these standards, as well as quality controls that are in place during the Mechanical Design, Manufacturing, Inspection and Testing of the equipment, have been approved by the IEC’s certification process.

Founded in 1906, the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is the world’s leading organisation for the preparation and publication of international standards for all electrical and related technologies.


What IECEx means

IECEx stands for International Electrotechnical Explosive.

IECEx International Certification is the globally recognised standard relating to equipment for use in Explosive Atmospheres.

In 2016, the IECEx standards for non-electrical (mechanical) equipment, for use in potentially explosive atmospheres were introduced. The EN ISO 80079 36 and 37 standards, set out requirements for assessment and mitigation of risks for mechanical equipment. With the adoption of these by IECEx, it is no longer acceptable to simply “bolt on” IECEx electrical goods to a mechanical piece of ATEX certified equipment and supply the assembly as IECEx compliant.

Key features of IECEx

  • IECEx provides Improved Safety confidence that the equipment is manufactured in compliance with IEC international standards.
  • IECEx reduces the cost for additional testing.
  • Instant verification.
  • IECEx provides increased security and safety in all types of Ex areas through IECEx-certified equipment.
  • IECEx certification helps build confidence in the safety of Ex equipment.
  • Possibility to verify all issued Certificates instantly on or on the IECEx app.

What is the difference between ATEX and IECEx?

IECEx is the international equivalent of the European ATEX standard.

However, one of the largest distinctions between the two approvals is the need for Design and Quality Assurance controls to be approved by an IECEX approved Certification Body (CB), which is essentially a two stage process.

Firstly, the design and manufacturing is subject to a Quality Assurance Report (IECEx QAR) which ensures the correct Quality Assurance systems are in place. This contrasts with ATEX which requires no officially recognised Quality Assurance for its Category 3 (Zone 2) fans and simply requires that a manufacturer has been awarded an ISO9001 : 2015 quality certification in order to manufacture Category 2 (Zone 1) fans.

The second stage is the issuing, again by an IECEx CB, of the “IECEx Certificate of Conformity”. Essentially, this is the detailed technical assessment of the potential hazards and design mitigation of the equipment in accordance with the above referenced standards.

Again this differs from the ATEX, self-certification of product, which is permitted under ATEX for Category 3 (Zone 2) and Category 2 (Zone 1) equipment but is not permitted under the IECEx scheme. This is intended to ensure the Improved safety of equipment being put to market. Any IECEx certified piece of equipment, including fans, should be accompanied by an IECEx Certificate of Conformity which should clearly identify the product being supplied. Compliance can no longer be claimed by fitting IECEx electrical equipment to an existing mechanical design.

Therefore, IECEx does not allow self-certification from manufacturers or equipment.

How to check my fan is an IECEx fan

IECEx operates an International Mark licensing System, that is intended to provide a clear notification that a product bearing the IECEx logo is a correctly certified IECEx fan product. It can be easily verified that the manufacturer has been issued with an appropriate IECEx Certificate to cover the range of products being supplied, by checking or by using the IECEx app., searching Woodcock and Wilson’s certificate number: IECEx SIR 17.0076X.

What does IECEx mean for your business?

Specifying an IECEx fan, provides a globally recognised and independently certified level of safety for your products. For OEMs, it reduces the need for individual country by country certification and for end users, it provides an independently assessed level of safety for equipment. It also removes the uncertainty in the due diligence of supplying or using self-certified mechanical equipment for both end users and OEMs alike.

Woodcock and Wilson IECEx fans

An IECEx Certified fan from Woodcock & Wilson will ensure confidence that the fan being supplied has been assessed by an IECEx approved Certification Body. This is the reassurance that the fan will be safe, manufactured to the strictest international standards and is designed to meet the specific type of explosive or hazardous environment that it is intended to operate in, whilst also reducing the need and cost of additional testing.

Woodcock & Wilson Ltd are the WORLD’S FIRST fan manufacturer to obtain certification to IECEx for its range of industrial fans, which means they are also the ONLY fan manufacturer to be able to offer ATEX and IECEx certified fans

OR if you’re still not sure what you need, contact us and we’ll help guide you through the IECEx options we offer.