In house fire testing laboratories allow manufacturers to run quality assessments on existing cables, new cables and materials, type approval for products or contracts, customer service demonstrations, and development of new first specifications for the industry. This ensures that cables comply with stringent British and European Standards, which set the benchmark to provide specifiers and installers with the correct knowledge and understanding about a cable’s fire survival time, flame propagation and smoke emissions. They also set out the environment and equipment that should be used when conducting fire tests, coupled with details to make sure all tests relevant to a particular standard are carried out under the same conditions.
There are three main tests conducted on fire performance cables – fire resistance, flame propagation and smoke emission tests.
1. The fire resistance test measures the time that the cable continues to function under set conditions, retaining its electrical state. Fire resistance can be tested with the cable being exposed to different conditions: fire alone, fire and impact, fire and water, or an integrated fire, water and impact.
To see footage of Prysmian cables undergoing fire tests, please click here
2. Impact tests simulate falling materials in a building with water blasts used to replicate sprinklers or fire fighting hoses in a fire situation.
3. Flame propagation tests examine how far a cable burns in a vertical position before it stops burning and smoke emission tests involve burning cable in a smoke cube.Prysmian's State of the Art fire test laboratory was designed and built with all of the tests above in mind. The dedicated facility has 9 separate test chambers, each set up for a specific test, meaning that multiple tests can be carried out simultaneously. Dedicated personnel ensure that all of the tests are set up to the most stringest of standards and have the experience and expertise to understand how and why a product performs the way it does. The test facility is indispensable in the design and test of new products and/or development of products in line with prevailing standards.