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Fire Test Facilities

Cable Fire Testing

The fundamental feature of having a leading fire testing facility is that it allows cables to be observed throughout the development process. The cables can be observed during the whole test process and this allows researchers and testers to record any changes during different stages of testing. Engineers can then make calculated judgements on how well cables have performed and how they can be improved.

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.

Fire resistanceResistance with waterImpact test
To see footage of Prysmian cables undergoing fire tests, please click here

Resistance with impact

2. Impact tests simulate falling materials in a building with water blasts used to replicate sprinklers or fire fighting hoses in a fire situation.

Smoke chamber

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.

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