Cologne, October 18, 2018. Since July 1, 2017, power, control and communication cables in buildings have been covered by EU Standard 50575 of the Construction Products Regulations (CPR). This is the first time that the EU has laid down uniform regulations for cables and wires for fire classes (including Cca and B2ca) and test methods. Because their fire properties are also an important factor for fire safety. In order to comply with the new regulations, cable specialist Draka, part of Prysmian Group, offers companies a complete range of high fire safety CPR Cca and B2ca certified fibre optic cables with up to 144 fibres. The portfolio includes the non-metallic, gel-filled central loose tube cables U-DQ(ZN)BH in Cca and B2ca as well as the non-metallic stranded gel-filled loose tube cables U-DQH & U-DQ(ZN)BH in Cca and B2ca for indoor and outdoor use. Combining high water resistance, 144 fibres count and high mechanical strength with maximum fire protection, Draka cables are industry-leading.
“When the European regulatory authorities or associations recommended the new fire classes Cca and B2ca as minimum requirements for many construction types (for instance ZVEI in Germany recommends Cca for offices, schools, underground parking and B2ca for hospitals, escape routes, server rooms, tunnels) under the Construction Products Regulations (CPR), fibre optic cable manufacturers faced a new challenge,” says Tayfun Eren, Product Manager at Draka, Prysmian Group. “The cable solutions available on the market shortly after the new regulation came into force were not yet able to meet the demanding fire protection classes. Cable manufacturers had to develop new solutions,” Eren continues.
Draka’s response to the new regulation is a full range of Cca and B2ca certified products. U-DQ(ZN)BH & U-DQH cables, the E22 central tube and the stranded loose tubes N10 and N14 meet the requirements of fire protection class Cca. E25, N09, N11 an N13 are B2ca certified. All cable types of the E- and N-series are gel filled, non-metallic and available with up to 144 fibres. They are water-proof and protect against bending/physical effects. N14/N09/N13 also offer high rodent resistance. Due to their non-metallic nature, they are easy to install. Both ranges are suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
Other alternatives are available on the market, including dry and metal armoured solutions. Compared to Draka’s gel-filled, metal-free fiber optic cables, companies must compromise on watertightness and mechanical strength when using dry cables. Metal armoured cables are difficult to install for indoor cabling.
The EN 50575 standard
Since 1 July, 2017 the EN 50575 standard has been mandatory for cables and wires. It concerns fire classification and test methods for cables used in buildings. The EU standard is based on the new Construction Products Regulation (CPR), which has been in force since 2013, for products that remain permanently in a building. With EN 50575, which came into force, the previous fire classes for cables A1, A2, B1, B2 and B3 were replaced by seven new classes Aca, B1ca, B2ca, Cca, Dca, Eca and Fca. Power cables, communication and control cables for permanent installation in buildings are tested for energy content, flame spread, smoke generation, acidity, heat release and drop formation (burning drops of plastic materials that contribute to fire propagation) and classified accordingly.