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Novel connectors simplify commissioning of electrical equipment in hazardous firedamp environments

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

A range of innovative, explosion-proof connectors has been developed, which simplifies the commissioning and decommissioning of electrical equipment installed in hazardous firedamp envi-ronments, including underground mines.
Firedamp is a flammable gas predominantly found in coal mines, which normally comprises a number of different flammable gases, particularly methane. Firedamp is commonly found in areas where the coal is bituminous. The gas accumulates in pockets in the coal and adjacent strata, and when these are penetrated, the release of the gas can trigger an explosion.
The new eXLink Mining connector from Cooper Crouse-Hinds is certified for use in hazardous firedamp areas. The connector enables engineers to commission and decommission a wide range of electrical equipment in underground mines, without having to use any special tools and without having to isolate, then disconnect the equipment. This means the installation, maintenance and repair of any electrical apparatus in firedamp areas can be carried out in a simple, safe but cost-effective manner.
The eXLink Mining connector is designed with armoured cables, which are certified for use in haz-ardous firedamp areas. This means that any electrical device with power consumption up to 16A – light fittings, alarms, sensors, motors and drives – can simply be plugged in and out using the con-nector.
Light fittings, for example, which are connected using eXLink can be serviced or replaced at any time without having to disconnect the complete lighting circuit. Actuators and sensors that use eX-Link connectors can now be replaced quickly and safely at all times. Similarly, components on large machines can be replaced much faster and more safely, with minimal effort.
By using the eXLink 6+1 connector, current consumers with 3 phases up to 16A, PE and 2-wire control lead can be connected by using just a small plug.
The eXLink series of Ex-de protected plugs and couplers are easy to handle and compact. The contact sockets are fitted with well-proven CEAG lamellar contacts made from punched, specially treated copper beryllium tape, which, due to a large number of contact points, ensures proper elec-trical connection at all times. An Ex-d housing and the plug pins ensure reliable protection against firedamp in hazardous areas, both during connection and disconnection of the connector. As with other eXLink products, the plugs and sockets can be coded.
Depending on the application, the customer can choose between 4-pole plus PE (eXLink 4+1) or 6-pole plus PE (eXLink 6+1) versions. The enclosures are available in nickel-plated brass or stainless steel.
(Ref 1666)

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