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ATEX and ACD Certified Vacuum Solutions

Delfin's objective is to contribute to increasing safety levels in all industrial sectors that handle or produce combustible materials on a daily basis by developing vacuuming and engineering solutions certified to operate in ATEX classified zones, as well as in ordinary work environments where there is a need to vacuum combustible dust. It is therefore essential to equip oneself with the most suitable cleaning and maintenance tools and systems to prevent these risks and ensure a safe working environment.

How to choose the most suitable ATEX or ACD vacuum cleaner for your needs that perfectly meets regulatory requirements? Today's regulatory landscape, consisting of both national and European regulations, is constantly evolving and certainly does not make the work of RSPP (Occupational Safety and Health Managers), maintenance managers, and all those figures responsible for ensuring company safety any easier.

  • What are the regulatory updates?
  • In which sectors and applications are combustible dusts handled?
  • Classification of explosion risk zones
  • The new Delfin ATEX certified models
  • Distinctive features of the new ATEX models
Industrial vacuum cleaners for food industry

What are the regulatory updates?

ATEX derives from the French words ATmosphères and EXplosibles and is the code that encompasses two European Union directives on safety. The first directive, 99/92/EC, regulates the use of equipment and machinery in explosive risk zones. It addresses equipment manufacturers, regulating the technical safety characteristics that they must have to operate within different risk areas. The second is 2014/34/EC, which concerns the safeguarding of safety and health of workers in potentially explosive atmospheres. This, therefore, addresses companies that may have risk areas within them.
The new standard EN17348:2022
The European standard UNI EN 17348:2022 has been harmonized with the ATEX directive since March 2023 and with the machinery directive since August 2024. The new standard specifies requirements for the design, construction, testing, and marking of portable, handheld, and transportable vacuum systems, including their accessories, intended for the collection of combustible or non-combustible and flammable or flammable liquids in potentially explosive atmospheres. Among these requirements, there is the introduction of the new concept of filtration barriers in relation to the internal category for zone 20:

  • First level of filtration: ISO15E primary filter with a minimum efficiency requirement of 95%
  • Second level of filtration: High-efficiency HEPA filter with a minimum requirement of 99.95%

The new standard IEC 60335-2-69:2021
The ACD safety label was introduced with the new international standard IEC 60335-2-69:2021 for industrial vacuum systems. This classification aims to increase safety levels in areas not classified as ATEX, that is, ordinary places where there is still a need to collect combustible dust. In addition to applying the new ACD standard, Delfin has certified the internal part of the solutions as category 1/- through a third-party body to ensure full compliance of the products with ATEX regulations.

In which sectors and applications are combustible dusts handled?

Despite the common belief that the issue of explosions is a concern of petrochemical industries, refineries, and pharmaceutical industries, in reality, the issue also concerns other sectors and companies that are not necessarily large. Under certain conditions, materials with average sizes less than 500 microns, such as flour, powder of light metals, wood, leather, carbon fiber, seeds, sugar, paper, cardboard, waste, and organic compounds are considered combustible and can lead to explosions.
In particular, the industrial sectors and related applications that handle combustible dusts and are therefore subject to explosion risks are:

  • FOOD AND AGRIFOOD: silos and work areas for drying, grinding, and refining raw materials
  • WOOD AND METALMECHANICS: sanding, grinding, drilling, cutting, satin finishing, and painting
  • CHEMICAL-PHARMACEUTICAL: granulation, grinding, compression, coating, tableting, and packaging of potent powders or hazardous substances
  • ENERGY INDUSTRY: accidental leaks or spills, or frequent presence of combustible residues
  • 3D PRINTING: treatment of polymers and conductive powders during various stages of printing

In the last decade, several tragedies caused by explosions have occurred in national and international companies, often with very serious consequences. Just think of the explosion of cereal storage silos in 2007 at the Molino Cordero in Fossano (Piedmont, Italy) where 5 people lost their lives, or the 2008 disaster at the Imperial Sugar refinery in Georgia (USA) where the death toll reached 14 and 42 injured.
In both these cases, the explosions occurred due to mishandling of dust and poor plant cleanliness, which, over time, allowed an explosive atmosphere to form and detonate.

Classification of explosion risk zones

The risk of explosion is defined and measured as the ratio between working hours in a year and hours when an explosive atmosphere is likely to occur, which is why we talk about the likelihood of its occurrence.
We will therefore have ATEX risk zones classified as follows:

  • DUST RISK ZONE 20: A place where an explosive atmosphere, in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in the air, is continuously present for long periods, or frequently (e.g., hoppers, silos, cyclones and filters – powder transport systems, inside mixers, mills, dryers, bagging equipment, etc.).
  • DUST RISK ZONE 21: A place where it is likely that an explosive atmosphere, in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in the air, is present sporadically during ordinary operation.
  • DUST RISK ZONE 22: A place where it is unlikely that an explosive atmosphere, in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in the air, will be present during normal operation, but if it occurs, it persists for a short period.
  • GAS RISK ZONE 0: A place where an explosive atmosphere is continuously or for long periods present due to the presence of gas.
  • GAS RISK ZONE 1: A place where an explosive atmosphere may be present during normal operation due to the presence of gas.
  • GAS RISK ZONE 2: A place where it is not likely that an explosive atmosphere due to the presence of gas will be present during normal operation or, if it occurs, it is likely to occur only infrequently and for a short period.

The new Delfin models certified ATEX

Delfin works to stay updated on evolving regulations and consequently adapt safety standards, test requirements, and protection methods to ensure that the end-user is fully protected and aware of its correct usage, depending on the safety category for which it is certified.

All Delfin ATEX vacuum cleaners have the following standard technical features:

  • Certified antistatic polyester star filters in Class M and HEPA absolute filters as standard for single-phase models
  • Container in stainless steel AISI 304
  • Safety cap for filter cleaning, ensuring safety without dust dispersion and blowback into the environment
  • Integrated filter cleaning system, automatic or manual depending on the models
brushless powerhead


Brushless and bypass motors

The Delfin group offers the new certified single-phase head with one or two third-party certified motors suitable for working in ATEX Zone 21 environments, with protection from combustible dusts Ex tb, Category 2D IECEx EPL Db. The best and safest on the market worldwide.

vacuum cleaners for clean rooms



During 2024 Delfin will be presenting its innovative and extended range of ATEX side channel blowers (power ranging from 0.4 to 25K), with third party certificate. Designed to maximize the performance vs. energy ratio, they will be suitable to work in ATEX Zone 22 environments, and bear the
marking Ex tc, Category 3D. Options will also be available for Dust Category 2D or for ATEX GAS zones.

delfin pneumatic conveyors


Thanks to its know-how and inhouse engineering in the areas of automation and power controls, Delfin has designed an innovative ATEX switch-box, suitable for vacuum systems with three phase suction units for ATEX Zone 22 and 21, featuring a high resistance in industrial use, and a marking with dust ignition protection Ex tb, Category 2D.

For more than thirty years, Delfin has been working every day to develop innovative solutions for the cleaning, extraction and handling of countless types of powders and materials in all industries and stands out today as the global specialist for industrial powder management.

It offers customized solutions specifically designed according to your needs: from wheeled vacuums to pneumatic transport to centralized vacuuming systems. 

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