There are several different fire performance tests for cables. The purpose of the test is to verify that the cable will continue to maintain electrical continuity or functionality for a defined period of time in a simulated fire condition. These cables are used to provide power to fire survival equipment, fire alarms and emergency lighting etc.
BS6387 - BRITISH FIRE PERFORMANCE TEST
One of the longest established British Standards for fire performance testing is BS 6387. This covers cables with a diameter of up to 20mm. The standard describes three which the cable must pass, C, W and Z. The tests are conducted on a special fire test rig and the cable is energised to 600V. The cables electrical continuity is indicated by a series of light bulbs which are connected through fuses. A failure will be indicating by the fuse blowing and the light failing on one or more of the bulbs.
BS8491 - FIRE PERFORMANCE STANDARD FOR LARGER CABLES
The British Standard which caters for cables with a diameter greater than 20mm is BS8491.
The test method in BS8491:2008 involves subjecting the cable under test to radiation via direct impingement, corresponding to a constant temperature attack of 842oC; to direct mechanical impacts corresponding to a force of approximately 10N; and to direct application of a water jet simulating a firefighting water jet.
The test method given in this standard includes three different test durations to allow testing of cables intended for different applications:
F30 - for 30 minutes duration
F60 - for 60 minutes duration
F120 - for 120 minutes duration.
IEC 60331 - INTERNATIONAL FIRE PERFORMANCE STANDARD
An International standard for Fire Performance tests is IEC 60331 consists of the following parts under the general title: Tests for electric cables under fire conditions – Circuit integrity:
Part 1: Test method for fire with shock at a temperature of at least 830°C for cables of rated voltage up to and including 0.6/1kV and with an overall diameter exceeding 20mm.
Part 2: Test method for fire with shock at a temperature of at least 830°C for cables of rated voltage up to and including 0.6/1kV and with an overall diameter not exceeding 20mm.
Part 3: Test method for fire with shock at a temperature of at least 830°C for cables of rated voltage up to and including 0.6/1kV tested in a metal enclosure.
Part 11: Apparatus – Fire alone at a flame temperature of at least 750°C
Part 21: Procedures and requirements – Cables of rated voltage up to and including 0.6/1kV
Part 23: Procedures and requirements – Electric data cables
Part 25: Procedures and requirements – Optical fibre cables
NOTE Parts 21, 23 and 25 relate to fire-only conditions at a flame temperature of at least 750 °C.
Fire resistant cable manufacturer
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