SAIMC: Durban branch

August 2021 News

As a well-known and respected figure in the industry, Gary Friend (sales director, Extech Safety Systems) drew record crowds for the Durban branch’s July (virtual) technology meeting. His presentation ‘IS Loop Approval’ was excellent, and judging by the interaction and questions afterwards, the audience found it relevant and interesting.

Gary Friend.

Gary was spot on when he said that most of us are probably familiar with the idea of zener barriers or galvanic isolators to achieve intrinsic safety, but many overlook the fact that these must be coordinated with the cable and field device parameters of capacitance and inductance.

His presentation highlighted this potential minefield and he very deftly demonstrated how to maintain legality in these situations. He also took us through changes in legislation allowing the use of Ex ic and how to use these to our advantage incorporating the correct gas groups. Another important area covered was the approval of RF loops and how we can use augmented reality in explosive atmospheres.

The Durban branch committee thanks Gary for this fascinating presentation.

In a similar vein: SA Instrumentation and Control has published an updated and revised article on intrinsically safe loop approval calculations that Gary wrote, and which may be of interest. It can be found at


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