Standards and application guidelines for fireproof cables in integrated wiring

Standards and regulations

After the introduction of structured cabling systems, the total number of cables installed in commercial buildings has grown significantly. Usually the cables are bundled and installed in the space between the suspended ceiling and the building mezzanine, or under the raised floor. Pay special attention to the performance of the cables, not only in their transmission characteristics, but also in preventing potential fire hazards.

There are various regulations on fire prevention in the world. The various communication cables put into the market have thousands of different standards and requirements, each of which has different characteristics such as fire resistance, smoke resistance, corrosion resistance and radiotoxicity. These characteristics depend on the material composition of the cable, the size of the sheath and the insulation of the internal conductors.

Cables with low flame propagation and high flame retardancy are used to prevent the flame from spreading quickly to other parts of the building. This will allow more time to escape and prevent the flame from spreading to flammable materials in the building.

The following standards define the fire and combustion indicators of communication cables, and specify the technical conditions and test methods for fire alarms and flames in detail:

• National Electrical Code (NEC) 800 clauses

• Canadian Electrical Code-CEC

• International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) 332

• European Commission for Electrical Technology Standardization (CENELEC) HD405

• British BS4066

NEC's fire protection standards are published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and revised every 3 years, with the most recent release in 1996. The NEC800 clause establishes four levels of fire protection requirements that all communication wires and cables installed in buildings must comply with. They must also be clearly marked. These cable markings help to confirm the safety level and are also valuable from the viewpoint of building inspection and risk assessment.

Underwriter Laboratories-UL has developed a test method to verify that the cable meets NEC standards.

UL910: Flame propagation and smoke concentration test for cables and optical cables for space transmission in the air environment.

Cables that pass this test are considered to be flame retardant cables suitable for pressure ventilated spaces.

UL1666: Test for flame propagation of electrical cables and optical cables installed in vertical shafts.

The designed vertical backbone-level cables must pass this test.

UL1581: Standard for wires, cables and wiring.

UL or ETL are both certification bodies for fire-resistant cables

For NRTL (North American Accredited Laboratories), both test products and certified products must obtain qualification certification. Certification includes regular factory inspections to ensure that products produced continuously by the manufacturer comply with the factory inspection manual. Currently, there are 9 recognized NRTLs in North America, including Safety Laboratory (UL), Electronic Testing Laboratory (ETL) and Canadian Association (CSA), etc. They can test, verify and certify the fire rating and TIA / EIA category performance.

In the United States, the Nationally Recognized Test Laboratory (NRTL) conducts flame tests and prepares cable lists. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for the appointment of NRTL and monitoring their continuous compliance with the appointment standards. Each appointment is valid for 5 years. Including UL and ETL testing laboratories, there are 9 NRTLs in total. These laboratories also test whether communication cables comply with ANSI / TIA / EIA-568-AB performance (class) specifications.

In Canada, the Canadian Standards Council may designate a laboratory as a certification organization (CO) and / or test organization (TO). Organizations such as C (UL) and C (ETL).

These laboratories are responsible for testing according to the standards and ensuring that the cables are adequately marked with the appropriate fire rating. The laboratory also audits the factory to ensure the consistency of the manufacturing process.

How to identify the fire performance of a cable

The fire resistance is marked on the cable jacket, and the bottom is marked with IBDN

Cable coding

Nordx / CDT offers three series of enhanced horizontal cables. They are the IBDN-1200, IBDN-2400 and IBDN-4800LX series. IBDN-1200 is composed of special cables such as 1212, 1213 and 1224. The IBDN-2400 and IBDN-4800LX series are similar. The first two digits (such as "12" and "24") are related to the maximum recommended data transmission rate. When used in IBDN gigabit cabling solutions, the cable can be divided into 1.2 and 2.4GBPS.

The third digit is related to the cable design and is expressed as follows:

• 1 means UTP and the use of some halogenated materials (such as PVC, LSPVC or FEP)

• 2 means UTP and the use of low-smoke non-toxic materials (such as LSOH)

The last digit represents the flame propagation level and is expressed as follows:

• 1 means CM, CMX general purpose

• 2 means CMR (inc.FT-4) * shaft;

• 3 means CMP flame retardant;

• 4 means IEC332-1

Nordx / CDT offers three series of enhanced horizontal cables. They are IBDN-FX300, IBDN-FX600 and IBDN-FX2000 fiber optic cables, and the fire performance marks are:

OFN --- non-conductor fiber optic cable

FNR--non-conductor vertical backbone

OFNP--non-conductor fiber flame retardant

How to improve and apply fire performance in the integrated wiring system.

After the introduction of structured cabling systems, the total number of cables installed in commercial buildings has grown significantly. Usually the cables are bundled and installed in the space between the suspended ceiling and the building mezzanine, or under the raised floor. Pay special attention to the performance of the cables, not only in their transmission characteristics, but also in preventing potential fire hazards.

Fire protection regulations apply all over the world. The various communication cables put into the market have thousands of different standards and requirements, each of which has different characteristics such as fire resistance, smoke resistance, corrosion resistance and radiotoxicity. These characteristics depend on the material composition of the cable, the size of the sheath and the insulation of the internal conductors.

Cables with low flame propagation and high flame resistance are used to prevent the flame from spreading to other parts of the building. This will allow more time to escape and prevent the flame from spreading to flammable materials in the building.

Flame retardant cable

Flame-retardant grade cables for pressure ventilation ducts, listed / and certified with CMP, OFNP. Characterized by cables with high flame retardancy and low smoke generation. Also used for ambient air circulation such as elevated spaces Ceiling and floor.

Shaft level cable

Vertically installed cables passing through more than one level, or vertically installed in a ventilation shaft, listed / and certified with CMR, OFNR. These cables are flame retardant and can prevent the spread of flames.

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