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EN 50575:2014+A1:2016 Cable fire testing and CE Certification

From:CABLE CPR CERTIFICATION  Clicks:2856  Time:2017-5-16
Fire properties of cables are of great importance in a fire safety perspective. Therefore cables have been included in the classification system under the European Construction Products Regulation (CPR). We were responsible for working out the fire-classification and methods of testing.

The harmonized product standard EN50575 for Power, control and communication cables was published July 10th, 2016. The implication of this standard being published is that CE marking has come into force and CE marking of cables is possible. July 10th, 2017 is the end of the co-existence period of any national standard which means that from that point on CE marking is mandatory. RISE is registered on NANDO (New Approach Notified and Designated Organizations) Information System. This means that RISE can fully perform all services as a notified product certification and testing laboratory for EN 50575:2014+A1:2016

The way of CE-marking cables- EN 50575:2014+A1:2016
The fire properties of cables are of great importance from a fire safety perspective. As a result, cables have been included in the classification system under the European Construction Products Regulation (CPR). This means that all cable manufacturers who intend to sell cables for use in permanent installations in buildings in Europe must obtain CE-marking for their products. In order to achieve this, there are certain steps and procedures that manufacturers have to go through and comply with – these are described below. 

Flame spread test together with heat release and smoke production measurements according to EN 50399
There are seven classes: Aca, B1ca, B2ca, Cca, Dca, Eca, and Fca. Class Aca is for non-combustible products, e.g. cables with ceramic insulation. Class B1ca is the best class of the combustible products, while B2ca and Cca represent products capable of some degree of spreading a fire. Dca has fire characteristics similar to that of ordinary wood, while Eca consists of products that are difficult to ignite by a small flame but heat and smoke release is not assessed. Fca indicates that no performance class has been determined. Comparing this system with that for surface covering materials, in which Euroclass A is non-combustible while Euroclass D represents wood, it can be seen that the cable classes are parallel to the corresponding classes for surface covering materials. A short summary of the testing standards used for the classification is given below. 

EN ISO 1716 Reaction to fire tests for building products – Determination of the heat of combustion

In this method the gross heat of combustion, PCS, is measured in a bomb calorimeter. The heat of combustion is calculated on the basis of the temperature rise. PCS is a French acronym for “Pouvoir Calorifique Supérieure”.

EN50399 Common test methods for cables under fire conditions – Heat release and smoke production measurement on cables during flame spread test

This is the most commonly used fire test for cables, developed from the test IEC 60332-3. Reference is made to EN 50266 where the details for the test apparatus are given. Measured quantities are flame spread (FS), heat release rate (HRR), total heat release (THR), Fire Index Growth Rate (FIGRA), smoke production rate (SPR), and total smoke production (TSP). This test set up allows testing cables in one of the most advanced test arrangements available in Europe.

EN 60332-1-2 Tests on electric and optical fibre cables under fire conditions – Test for vertical flame propagation for a single insulated wire or cable
In this test a flame with 1 kW heat output is applied on a single cable. The measured quantity, H, is the combusted or charred length of the cable.

EN 61034-2 Measurement of smoke density of cables burning under defined conditions
Smoke is accumulated in a cubic test box with 3 m sides containing cable sample and a fire from 1 l alcohol. The optical transmittance is measured by a white light system.

EN 60754 Common test methods for cables under fire conditions – Determination of degree of acidity of gases for cables by determination of the weighted average of pH and conductivity
This test is used to measure acidity. Conductivity and pH are analysed after components have been completely consumed by heat in a tube furnace. Test standard IEC 60754 is similar to EN 50267. 

Recommended Reading 
EN 13501-6:2014   http://www.fire-test.com/newscenter/news/6702.html  
Cable CPR Certification  http://www.cprce.com     

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