ELECTRONICS: An explosive atmosphere may occur in many heavy-duty industries where encoders are used to provide position and speed feedback. To combat that, encoders that conform to ATEX directives should be used to increase safety in potentially explosive atmospheres. Leine & Linde’s product range of encoders in its 300, 500, 600 and 800 series conform to ATEX, specifically for lower Zones (2/22), and are now available in North America for use in these environments. ATEX is an acronym for ATmospèhere EXplosible (French, “explosive atmosphere”). It is a commonly recognized European Union directive that sets out a detailed code for products used in hazardous locations. The ATEX directive states that the construction must protect against penetration of dust in hazardous quantities and guarantee that the surface temperature is below the ignition temperature of dust/air mixtures and below the smoldering temperatures of dust deposits. The construction must minimize the occurrence of arcs, sparks and hot surfaces, which in normal operation might increase the risk of explosion.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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