Sealing systems are used in a whole range of sectors, from offshore and shipbuilding to construction and industry. ATEX directive requirements can be imposed for specific uses in environments where there is a risk of explosion. Kiwa has thus investigated the extent to which the NOFIRNO sealing system (from Beele Engineering) fulfils ATEX directive 2014/34/EU.
Comprised of rubber and filler sleeves and sealant, the system is used to treat transit openings for cables and pipes in walls, floors, bulkheads or decks, so that they are fire-resistant and sealed against gas, smoke and water. Kiwa’s research has shown that NOFIRNO is extremely suitable for use in environments such as those covered by the ATEX directive and described in the European standard EN 1127-1 ‘Explosive atmospheres – Explosion prevention and protection – Part 1: Basic concepts and methodology’.
Because the NOFIRNO sealant, NOFIRNO rubber sleeves and the complete NOFIRNO sealing system do not fulfil an autonomous role and are not equipment in the sense of the ATEX directive, the risk evaluation focused on use of the NOFIRNO in cable and pipe transits. All possible ignition sources related to the sealing system were also investigated.
Among the possible ignition sources which were assessed, were hot surfaces, flames and hot gases (including hot particles), mechanically-generated sparks, electrical equipment and power leakages, cathodic corrosion protection, static electricity, lightning, electromagnetic and ionising radiation, ultrasonic sound waves, adiabatic compression and shockwaves and exothermic reactions, including materials self-igniting.
Kiwa concluded that for all hazardous situations as described in EN 1127-1, there is no ignition source for NOFIRNO sealant, NOFIRNO rubber sleeves, NOFIRNO rubber filling sleeves and the complete, installed NOFIRNO system.