Mining Environment Sensors

Positek manufactures a selection of intrinsically safe sensors, specifically designed for applications in mining safety equipment


Every product within our range has attained one or both of the following certifications:

    •   ATEX approval
    •   IECEx approval

The extraction, crushing and transport of coal that takes place within a mining environment can generate significant volumes of combustible dust, putting workers and mining equipment at risk of a coal dust explosion. In order to mitigate against these risks, workers must take care to employ suitable hazardous area equipment. 

Positek’s intrinsically safe sensors operate on the principle of restricting any electrical energy that is transmitted into a hazardous or harsh environment, ensuring any sparks that may occur as a result of electrical failures are insufficient to cause ignition. The threat of a coal dust explosion is therefore eliminated, making our sensors suitable for applications in coal mining equipment. 

Not only are our position sensors suitable for mining equipment applications; they are extremely robust due to their use of non-contact technology. This means that they can operate over an extended life-cycle without wear or interference, even in the harshest of environments.

Click here to linear mining environment sensor

The term intrinsic safety primarily refers to the inherent safety of an equipment. When a device or equipment is intrinsically safe, it produces very low energy that is not capable of producing an explosion. The term came about in the 19th century mining industry. During that time, many accidents and explosions occurring in mines have been traced back to sparks produced by electrical or lighting equipment. These sparks then caused explosions because of the confined area and presence of gas such as methane. This is the primary reason why intrinsically safe sensors are essential for mining applications.

The mining environment is considered hazardous because of different reasons. It can be considered hazardous because confined spaces typically contain materials that are highly combustible such as gas, dust, and fibres. Areas within a mining location that is close to a gas pump can also be considered hazardous. In any application within a mine where intrinsically safe sensors are required to ensure that only intrinsically safe equipment are used and operated, Positek can supply the required sensor.

Why is it important to have specific, intrinsically safe position sensors for the mining environment?

Due to the extremely hazardous location where miners operate in, there is a need to ensure that accidents are prevented. With intrinsically safe linear sensors, there is no capability for the mechanism to produce energy that will ignite volatile materials existing in the surroundings.

Why can the mining environment be hazardous?

There are several reasons why the mining environment is considered hazardous. Miners work in confined spaces where there is dust environment, as well as gas and vapour environment. These materials are highly combustible and even the smallest electrical spark can cause an explosion. Aside from this, in many areas around a mine, there are gas pumps that can also explode and cause fatalities. That is why linear position sensors used in equipment must be intrinsically safe.

Is it possible to get an intrinsically safe position sensor for the mining environment made to order for specific size requirements?

There are different agencies around the world that develop guidelines for intrinsic safety. They are also responsible for evaluating products in order to meet these standards. In the European Union, the certification for intrinsic safety standard is issued by ATEX directive. For other countries around the world, it is IECEx standards that are followed. Positek carries sensors that have qualified under these guidelines for intrinsic safety. If you need to have a linear sensor customised to fit specific size requirements, Positek can help you. You can contact they engineering support team for assistance with made to order sensors.

In order to meet the requirements of our accreditors, when used in mining safety equipment applications, our sensors must be paired with a galvanically isolated amplifier. Click here for more information. 

Unlike many lvdt manufacturers, Positek has the flexibility to customise any industrial position sensor to any size or specification outside of the standard range. Your ATEX, CSA or IECEx approved sensor could then be shipped out to you in as little as 1-2 working days. Click here to browse our range of intrinsically safe sensors, suitable for use in mining safety equipment.

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