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ATEX-Certified Valves Valves go ATEX: Where Hazardous Duty Meets Digital Hydraulic Control

| Author / Editor: Thomas Röhlig / Dominik Stephan

ATEX-certified servo valves meet the safety requirements for explosive gas atmospheres – To meet the rugged requirements for oil and gas drilling, engineers are designing servo valves with on–board microprocessing. Read on to know more.

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Oil and Gas Drilling Automation using Moog ATEX Digital Interface Valve and Manifold.
Oil and Gas Drilling Automation using Moog ATEX Digital Interface Valve and Manifold.
(Picture: Moog)

In the oil and gas industry, design engineers use servo valves for flow and pressure control with hydraulic motors. To meet the rugged requirements for oil and gas drilling, engineers are designing servo valves with onboard microprocessing. These valves combine a rugged construction with fieldbus functionality to offer machine builders around the world the ability to communicate seamlessly with other fieldbus devices and obtain advanced functionality and system diagnostics.

With the correct servo valve, a design engineer can eliminate the need for separate flow and pressure control valves. This reduces the complexity of hardware on a drilling platform, which means quicker start-up, easier troubleshooting and simplified maintenance.

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ATEX-Certified Valves for Oil and Gas Drilling

The term ATEX (which comes from a European Union directive describing the kind of equipment allowed in an explosive atmosphere) applies to a work environment like an oil platform where the presence of dust vapor or gases may ignite or explode. There are a range of certifications required for products that are used where fire or explosion hazards exist due to the presence of flammable gases or vapors, and flammable liquids.

ATEX is a global certification for products such as servo valves that are used in these environments and it is typically required by companies that sell into the European Union.

A range of levels is defined by the regulations (e.g., II 2G Ex d e IIC T6/ T5/T4/T3 Gb) and machine builders; and maintenance staff look for technologies that can obtain the performance required to ensure compliance with these regulations.

To ensure that servo valves can withstand high vibration, engineers must also complete the qualification for vibration transmission and test a valve (according to DIN EN 60068- 2-6) with a specific sinusodial vibration across a hertz range in all axes. ATEX-certified servo valves meet the safety requirements for explosive gas atmospheres.

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