What are Fire Survival Cables?
These cables are also called CIRCUIT INTEGRITY CABLES. They are designed to sustain high temperatures under direct fire for a defined period of time. They are used in hazard-prone areas, such as airports, thermal power plants, metro rail projects, rail terminals, etc., where people and equipment are at risk of fire. Valuecon Fire Survival Cables have qualities that prevent them from overheating and can withstand temperatures up to 950°C for up to 3 hours
Why are Fire Survival Cables needed?
In today's buildings and installations, electrical cables and wires pose a serious fire safety risk:
- The sheer quantity of cables in modern buildings (electrical, telephone, computer connections, etc.) can represent a significant amount of fuel for fire if the insulating or jacketing materials catch fire.
- Overheating wires, arcing, short circuits, and electrical faults can turn into flames of burning insulating material if cables are not fire-safe.
- Moreover, cables are often the source of fire spreading through a building, since they cross fireproof walls and connect occupied areas to service areas, ceiling voids, and other parts.
Electrical systems cause approximately one-fifth of all fires. In addition to causing fires, cables can also contribute significantly to the spread of fires and to heat emissions (fire load) resulting in:
- A significant increase in smoke emissions (enough to reduce visibility and prevent escape).
- Production of carbon monoxide (the most lethal gas in fires).
- Production of irritant gases (including hydrochloric acid HCl, hydrofluoric acid HF, carbonyl fluoride COF2, and acrolein).
Fire Survival Cables are needed to eradicate these risks, as they are designed not just to withstand extreme temperatures and direct flame, but also to produce little smoke and no harmful gasses.
How are Fure Survival Cables different from conventional PVC insulated Cables?
Fire Survival Cables are made from an LSZH compound that gives them special properties. LSZH stands for low smoke- Zero Halogen. As the first part of the name suggests, this compound is fabricated to ensure that when ignited or exposed to heat, the cables made from LSZH compounds emit meager quantities of smoke. But what are halogens? Fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine are all members of the halogen family. The elements known as halogens are a class of chemicals that can produce poisonous and hazardous gases in a fire. Additionally, these gaseous compounds can condense into caustic acids (such as hydrochloric acid) when they come in contact with moisture (such as the moisture found in the lungs, eyes, and throats). In the wire and cable industry, chlorine, fluorine, and bromine halogens pose the greatest risk.
Perils and problems associated with PVC
The most common type of insulation and jacketing material for power cables is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). However, if ordinary or even enhanced flame retardant PVC burns in a fire:
- PVC generally disintegrates at 70°C-90°C
- It emits dense smoke that obstructs fire exit routes, choking and suffocating people.
- PVC compounds release poisonous and hazardous gases due to halogen elements.
- Computers, security/access control equipment, building management systems, lifts and just about anything else with a circuit board are subject to long-term corrosion damage.
It is evident that this creates a hazardous situation wherever an accidental fire may occur. Although the fire may have been extinguished within minutes with no significant risk to life, the damage to equipment may have been enormous.
Fire Survival Cables - Fire Resistant Properties make them Special
In the event of a fire, fire-resistant Fire Survival cables ensure that emergency and building-critical systems are maintained, allowing occupants to safely exit the building, and allowing shutdown procedures to take place. Fire-Survival cables can be used for emergency lighting, sprinklers, extraction systems, smoke dampers and shutters, emergency generators, pressurisation fans, emergency voice communication systems, and fire alarms, all of which can prove crucial during a fire. Fire Survival Cables by Valuecon are constructed to maintain circuit integrity for up to 3 hours at 950°C. The chemically enhanced compounds used in insulation, inner sheath and outer jacket are developed carefully to ensure these cables provide continued functionality for a long time under direct flames and extremely high temperatures. Additionally, the conductors of Valuecon Survival Cables are protected by a layer of mineral-insulated (MICA) tape that can resist temperatures up to 1050°C for a short period, greatly enhancing the lives of these cables.
Mica is a natural material that is chemically neutral, non-toxic, and completely free of halogens. In addition to being dry and non-adhesive, mica tape is impregnated with a high-performance heat-resistant silicon resin and reinforced with polyethene film. Mica has the following advantages:
- The material mica does not propagate flames and is non-combustible.
- The release of toxic gases and smoke in a fire is delayed by mica, which reduces the quantity of toxic gases given off.
- Mica is asbestos-free and meets the latest international environmental standards.
- Alkaline and acid-resistant
- Shock- and vibration-resistant
- Resistant to water
- Up to 109 Rad radiation-resistant
How Fire Survival Cables are Tested?
The Fire Survival Cables are tested under three conditions known as C, W and Z categories as per BS 6387 to test the performance of cable subjected to Flame, Water and Shock, respectively.
Category C Test as per BS 6387:
This is the test for the fire-resistant properties of the cable. As per the procedure laid down in the standard, the prescribed voltage is applied to the conductors of the sample of cable. The cable is then subjected to direct flame, with gas and air supplies moderated until a temperature of 950°C (± 40°C) is achieved. The cable is monitored at intervals of 90 minutes and 180-minute mark. At the end of the 180 minute mark if no rupture in voltage levels or a short circuit is observed, then the test cable shall be deemed to have passed the test
Category W Test as per BS 6387:
This is the test for the water-resistant properties of the cable. As per the procedure laid down in the standard, the prescribed voltage is applied to the conductors of the sample of cable. The cable is then subjected to direct flame, with gas and air supplies moderated until a temperature of 650°C (± 40°C) is achieved. After 15 mins, the water supply is turned on at a sufficient pressure between the vicinity of 0.25 and 0.30 L/m2/s. At the end of the 30-minute mark if no rupture in voltage levels or a short circuit is observed, then the test cable shall be deemed to have passed the test
Category Z Test as per BS 6387:
This is the test for the shock-resistant properties of the cable. As per the procedure laid down in the standard, the test sample is bent in a “Z shape” at a minimum bending radius to the test wall. After the montage, the conductors at each end are clipped securely to the power supply. The test walls us then subjected to impact through a shock-producing device with the intervals between the shock being 30 ±2 seconds. The Procedure is repeated for 15 minutes. At the end of the 15-minute mark if no rupture in voltage levels or a short circuit is observed, then the test cable shall be deemed to have passed the test
Valuecon Fire Survival Cables are subjected to these tests in the manner prescribed in BS 6387 standards. The cables are tested in NABL-approved laboratories and are approved by RDSO on similar parameters and tests.
How Can You Get Fire Survival Cables at the right Prices?
Most brands charge exuberantly high prices for these cables due to a lack of consumer awareness and gain windfall profits at high margins. However, Valuecon stands out from the crowd. Valuecon offers Fire Survival Cables at unbeatable - factory prices to ensure consumer value.
- ARMOURED FIRE SURVIVAL CABLES