EEMUA has commissioned a series of independent tests to better understand the implications of not using barrier glands within certain potentially hazardous scenarios.
In the latest edition of IEC 60079-14 the requirements regarding when a barrier gland should be employed were significantly changed, without any scientific evidence to support such changes. Concerned over the safety implications, EEMUA is conducting independent testing to better inform itself, and if necessary the relevant IEC maintenance team, on the potential implications of the latest edition.
The previous criteria were based on an Electrical Research Association (ERA) report dating back to 1976. Given the technical advances since then, EEMUA deems it as sensible to both redo some of the tests previously carried out and also conduct additional tests to investigate the validity of the new criteria.