Temperature T Class Ratings


T Class Ratings

Hazardous Area Zone Classification

Ignition Temperatures

Temperature Classifications are given to hazardous area Temperature Class Ratings (also known as T-ratings or T-Class) and are applied to hazardous area zones and electrical equipment – T Class Ratings are utilised for all hazardous areas and explosion protection methods.

This helps the user to quantify the level of thermal energy allowed in the hazardous area area or explosive atmosphere according to the ATEX Directive or produced by the hazardous area equipment.

A hazardous area can be defined as any location where there is risk of an explosion due to the presence of flammable gas and vapours. However it is important to remember that every hazardous area is different and each has specific requirements depending on the nature of the atmosphere and the elements that are present.

Flammable materials have a temperature at which ignition will take place, even in the absence of an external source. The ignition temperature is the lowest temperature on the surface at which an explosive atmosphere will ignite.

Apparatus must be selected so that it will not expose a gas-air mixture to a temperature exceeding its ignition temperature. This is achieved by Temperature Classification, the T-Class.

Gases and dusts have been divided into temperature classes according to their ignition temperatures so that electrical equipment can be further sub-divided into six temperature classes T1 to T6.

Note. The maximum operating surface temperature of a piece of electrical equipment must always be below the ignition temperature of the explosive mixture.

Group II Hazardous Areas & T Class Ratings

Explosion protected electrical apparatus must be designed and tested to ensure that the maximum surface temperature of any part(s) of the products are below the ignition temperature of the explosive atmosphere concerned. Hazardous area Group II electrical apparatus is divided into temperature classes according to the maximum permissible surface temperature of the apparatus. The preferable classification of temperatures is provided below. Unless otherwise specified the maximum ambient temperature is taken to be 400ºC.

Hazardous Area Explosion Protection Equipment

Hazardous Area & Explosion Protection Equipment

Temperature Class

Maximum Surface Temperature °C 

Temperature Classification is based on the maximum temperature which any relevant part of the equipment which may be in contact with a flammable (explosive) gas, can reach.

This classification identifies the minimum ignition temperature threshold for the hazardous area. In other words, in order for the explosive or combustible environment to ignite, it would need to be subjected to a temperature in excess of this value.

The values applied to this T-Class classification run from T1 to T6.

  • T1 Class     450ºC
  • T2 Class     300ºC
  • T3 Class     200ºC
  • T4 Class     135ºC
  • T5 Class     100ºC
  • T6 Class      85ºC

Relationship between ‘T’ class and the maximum permissible temperature in °C of any surface in contact with flammable gas or ignitable dust. Based on – 20ºC to + 40ºC ambient air temperature.

A classification of T1 means the minimum ignition temperature is >450° C [842° F]. A classification of T6 means the minimum ignition temperature is >85° C [185° F].

T Rating Equipment

Hazardous area electrical equipment maybe designed for use in higher ambient temperatures. This would indicated on the rating plate e.g. EExe II C T3 Ta + 60°C (This means at 60ºC ambient T3 will not be exceeded)

Gas Area Classified T RatingSuitable Equipment
T1T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6
T2T2, T3, T4, T5, T6
T3T3, T4, T5, T6
T4T4, T5, T6
T5T5, T6


A T Class rating of T1 means the maximum surface temperature generated by the instrument at 40° C is 450° C. A rating of T6 means the maximum surface temperature generated by the equipment is 85° C.

Assuming the associated T Class and Temperature rating for the equipment are appropriate for the area, you can always use an instrument with a more stringent Division rating than required for the area.

Is it possible to field repair equipment with a hazardous rating?

There isn’t a clear answer to this question unfortunately. It really does depend on the type of equipment and what repairs need to be carried out. Generally hazardous area equipment repairs fall into three basic categories.

  • Factory Repair Only: Equipment with specific test procedures that can’t be performed in the field in order to achieve/maintain third party rating. Must come back to the factory if it is prior to the equipment’s service.
  • Field Repair By Authorised Personnel: Complicated testing may not be required however specific procedures may need to be followed in order for the equipment to maintain its third party rating. End user shouldn’t be instructed on how to perform this work. Authorised personnel must be employed to perform the work correctly
  • Field Repair By The End User: Repair must be a like for like replacement. New component must be considered as a direct replacement requiring no special testing of the equipment after the repair is complete.

Each piece of equipment with a hazardous rating should be evaluated independently.

Typical Self Ignition Temperatures

for Gases Temp + °C

Ethyl Acetate425ºC
Carbon Disulphide90ºC
Ethyl Nitrate90ºC
Industrial Methane535ºC
Carbon Monoxide605ºC


Hazardous Area Fan Heaters ATEX Certified

The EXHEAT Bulldog – safe electrical heating for hazardous area paint spray booths. ATEX certified portable heaters for dry filter extraction chambers

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Typical Self Ignition Temperatures

for Dust, Temp + °C  – Cloud – Layer

DustTemperature (Cloud)Temperature (Layer)
Soya Meal540ºC340ºC


Gas Area Classification

Area Classification should be carried out by those people who have the knowledge of the properties of flammable materials, the process and the equipment. in the consultation as appropriate with safety, electrical and other engineering personnel.

It should be reviewed on justifiably periodic basis or following any significant change.

Hazardous Areas are classified into zones based on frequency of the occurrence and the duration of an explosive gas atmosphere.

Hazardous Area Zones Gas

Zone 0 (source graded as continuous)

An area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is present continuously or for long periods or frequently.

Zone 1 (source graded as primary)

An area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.

Zone 2 (source graded as secondary)

An area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is not likely to occur in normal operation and if it does occur, is likely to do so only infrequently and will exist for a short period only.

Dust Area Classification

The concept of zones for dust is based on the classification of areas where combustible dust, or as a cloud of combustible dust particles, mixed with air at atmospheric pressure.

Similarly to gases, any plant where combustible may be present the area is divided into 3 zones dependent upon the probability and duration of a release or presence of the dust.

The zone determination is based on conditions obtained during normal operation and excludes catastrophic conditions such as pipe and vessel fracture and similar failures which could lead to uncontrollable releases.

Hazardous Area Zones Dust

Zone 20 (source graded continuously)

An area in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air, is present continuously or for long periods or frequently.

Zone 21 (source graded primary)

A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air, is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.

Zone 22 (source graded as secondary)

A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air is not likely to occur in normal operation but if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.


Hazardous Area Certification


Electrical & Process Instrumentation Equipment for Explosive Atmospheres

Thorne & Derrick are Specialist Distributors of Hazardous Area & Explosion Proof Equipment with IECEx & ATEX Certifications to the onshore and offshore oil, gas, petrochemicals and process industries.

We supply major UK and international infrastructure projects and also MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Operations) requirements for both planned and unplanned plant shutdowns – we react with a rapid response to customer demand to ensure downtime is minimised and reliable Power, Light & Heat is restored or provided.

Working closely with clients and our supply chain we can assess the condition and degradation of your hazardous area installations and implement specifications to manage the planned replacement of legacy equipment conformant with international classifications including ATEX and IECEx.

Key Product Categories: Control Panels | Plugs & Sockets | Isolators | Enclosures & Junction Boxes | Lighting | Control Stations | Motor Starters | Heat Trace Cables & Systems | Gas Detection & Detectors | Fire Detection & Detectors | Heat Detectors | Electrical Heating & Heaters 

Also Process Instrumentation Products: Ashcroft Pressure GaugesASCO Valves | Katronic Flow Meters | KROHNE Flow Meters VEGA Level Sensors | Rotronic Temperature & Humidity Sensors | SIKA Pressure Gauges

Hazardous Area Electrical Equipment

ATEX Process Instrumentation