World Class Engineered Cable Blog

A More Flexible Central Office Power Cable

Posted by Phil Laudicina on Jul 3, 2019 9:45:15 AM

RSCC ROCKFLEX® L2 Central Office Power (COP) is a more flexible, easier to install cable since it utilizes flexible Class I or Class K conductors. Its tough low smoke zero halogen (LSZH) thermoset, low-friction insulation has superior mechanical properties in the areas of abrasion, cut-through, notch propagation and heat deformation and eliminates the need for the traditional braid covering, making its installation much easier and fasteROCKFLEX COP L2r.

The wire meets Telcordia (Bellcore) GR-347-CORE and ATIS-0600017 2014, is RoHS and REACH compliant and is formulated for superior 2 years long term water resistance. The wire’s intended use is for 600/1000V AC or DC applications in Central Offices (COs), Outside Plant (OSP) remote terminals, Customer Premises and Building Entrance Terminals (BETs) and cell towers and data centers. LSZH insulation is preferred for highly occupied environments or areas with large concentrations of equipment. 

The wire carries numerous UL Listings such as RHW-2, USE-2, DP-1, HDFPC with a variety of ratings including IEEE 1202/FT4-ST1, oil and gasoline resistant, sunlight resistant, VW-1, CT use as well as approvals for AWM Styles 3237 and 3578 which make the versatility of this wire unmatched in the industry

For full specifications and more information: ROCKFLEX COP L2 Class I   ROCKFLEX COP L2 Class K

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Why Use Expensive VFD Cable For IGBT Drives in Marine ShipBoard Drilling Applications?

Posted by Damian Billeaudeau on Sep 29, 2017 12:33:10 PM

Expensive VFD Cable For IGBT Drives in Marine Shipboard Applications should be specified to protect expensive motors and electrical equipment?

Harmonic currents generated from IGBT power devices can cause excessive heating of motors and other electrical equipment, as well as adversely affect sensitive digital equipment. Standard constructed single or multi-conductor cables will cause premature motor bearing failure, crosstalk, noise to the inverter, and electric shock!

A VFD cable is specifically designed to cancel voltage, magnetic fields and reduce charging currents generated by induced pulse width modulated switching.

EXANE Marine Shipboard VFD construction provides:

- EXANE insulation can withstand the stresses of  substantial voltage spikes
- Sinusoidal lay length contain and cancel magnetic fields generated by power conductors onto the ground conductors
- Double overall shielding, properly grounded, contains the electric field, thus preventing induced voltage “cross-talk” to adjacent cables
- Segmented ground conductors reduce noisy ground currents
- Outer jacket is resilient to UV light, oils, muds, and abrasion

In summary, a properly designed VFD cable will reduce common-mode currents, motor frame voltages and protection against electro-mechanical interference (EMI) for optimized system performance and life expectancy.

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What Are the Shortcomings of Fire Proof Wrap Systems for Petrochemical Processing Facilities?  Fire Rated Critical Circuit Cables versus Fire Proof Wrap Systems

Posted by Mike Betts E Gagnon on Jul 12, 2017 9:46:34 PM

Engineering firms involved in specifying critical circuit and fire safety electrical systems recognize that the initial materals costs to install a fire proof wrap system  are less than installing a high performing fire rated cable sytem .   However, engineers should consider the significant long term costs and maintenance headaches associated with these types of fire proof wrap installation systems.

Though the up front cost of purchasing a high quality fire rated cable system can be higher up front, petrochemical facilities wil not have to incur the following:
1- Higher labor costs due to the time and complexity of the installation
2 - Long term susceptibily to external elements includiong weather, rodents, moisture and algal growth.
3 - Expensive long term maintenance costs to install replacement or additional cables withing the fire wrap system.

Downloadable below, the RCC White Paper - Fire Wrapped Systems as an Alternative for Cricial Curciut Cables: is this the best suited fire protection Solution for Petrochemical Facilities?"  addresses these shortcomings and cites documented evidence from qualified industry sources

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Topics: VITALink Fire Safety

How to Specify Fire Safety or Fire Rated Cables

Posted by Rob Schmidt on Mar 23, 2017 1:55:34 PM

Systems important to life safety require extra attention when specifying what equipment to buy and how to install it. It’s vital for these systems to remain operational during an emergency to limit the loss of life by providing functionality to emergency response teams, as well as evacuation efforts.

Fires can be catastrophic to life and property that’s why many standards and jurisdictions are requiring the functionality of emergency systems during a fire event. Some of these systems include emergency power, lighting, communication, and suppression.

Cables are the vital link between emergency equipment and their power or control source therefore they must also remain functional during a fire event. The details of installation can seem daunting without the proper partnership. Fire are very complex in nature. Materials expand and contract at different rates causing movement. Excessive movement can cause failure, and most systems are designed to accommodate a specific amount, but no more.

Below are several important points to understand when specifying any fire rated cable system for a project.

Functionality: Cables alone are not enough to satisfy operational requirements during a fire. Support methods, grounding requirements, fill ratio, vertical supports, pull boxes, installation orientation, splices, and material compatibility play a role in ensuring that your emergency system remains functional.

Flexibility: A fire rated system should cover your bases so it can be installed with ease. A properly designed fire rated cable system gives the contractor flexibility during an installation as to not override costs and delay the project. Some designs require less pulling because they can be consolidated into a single cable or can be offered in long lengths. Ampacities may diminish if a cable is covered. Consider what tools and equipment are needed to complete the installation and verify that these are allowed by the UL FHIT listing.

Splicing: With so many people working on site, and with all of the heavy machinery, sometimes accidents happen and cable gets damaged. Perhaps the complexity of the cable routing requires two lengths to be pulled separate and splice them together. Having an option to splice on the job and maintain fire protection requirements will save time and money trying to fix the problem by pulling new cable in, fire wrapping, or reordering cable that may have long lead times.

Compliance: The cable system should comply with governin

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Topics: VITALink Fire Safety

Need to meet NFPA 130 and Save Space in Transit Cars and Rolling Stock?

Posted by Jim Notarfrancesco on Feb 28, 2017 12:25:51 PM

Reduced Diameter Exane 15 Wire
Meets NFPA 130 for crowded locations

Today’s Transit Vehicles and Locomotives are more sophisticated requiring much more electronics which necessitate the use of more transit cables and wire. Cable trays, conduits and wire raceways have become very crowded. More space is needed in cabinets and wire panels to handle the increased number of transit cables and wires. Wire bundles and harnesses contain more wires and are larger than ever before. How can we bring these wire bundles down to size and reduce overall weight at the same time?

RSCC’s Exane 15 transit cable and wire is the answer to these problems. Exane 15 is a reduced diameter low voltage power, control and instrumentation wire for Rolling Stock applications in sizes 22 AWG to 10 AWG and available as both a single conductor and multi conductor configurations. It is a 600V 125C wire that employs a dual layer insulation system that meets the requirements of NFPA 130.

The use of Exane 15 will result in
1 - Weight savings of up to 30%
2 - Space Savings
         Up to 32% diameter reduction on wire bundles
         Up to 54% volume reduction in wire raceways and conduit fill.

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Topics: Exane Transit and rolling Stock data cables

What Materials are Required to Ensure Highest Possible Performance in Communications Cables for Train Cars?

Posted by Gil Shoshani on Feb 21, 2017 3:25:09 PM

How to specify the right communication cables for train cars for mechanical, physical, and electrical requirements

New generation train cars use communication cables and data protocol such as CAT 5E, CAT 6, CAT 7, MVB (Multifunction Vehicle Bus), WTB (Wire Train Bus), RS-485, LON (Local Operating Network), RS-422 and Canbus demanding 30-40 years in harsh environment.  As long as the electrical characteristics are achieved (like impedance and cross-talk), the cable can be made in different AWG sizes and materials for the conductor, insulation, shields and jacket.

When designing a communication cable for train cars environment, the following shall be considered

- Stranded conductor needs tol survive vibration and torque. The use of solid conductor should be avoided.
- Cross linked thermoset insulation and jacket should be preferred over thermoplastic materials. The cross-linked material is better in abrasion, cut through and notch propagation.
- The shield should be made of Tin Copper braid with an optional addition of an Aluminum/Mylar tape. The braid shield make the cable ruggedize with great resistance to crush and rough installation practices.

Other critical attribute is the capability of the cable to withstand temperature cycling and extreme hot or cold temperatures as the train exit out of the tunnel or parked and operated outdoors.

In addition to the mechanical, physical and electrical requirements of the communication cable, it needs to comply with local specifications for Flame, Smoke and Toxicity. (FST).   (Please refer to my other Blog regarding FST by visiting the RSCC Blog site)

To learn about communication cables for train cars FST requirements, please search the blog on the web site.

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Topics: Exane Transit and rolling Stock data cables

Decrease oil drilling downtime in ocean and land rigs

Posted by Damian Billeaudeau on Feb 14, 2017 4:04:41 PM


Properly designed high performance oil and gas cables for ocean rig drilling and land rig drilling can meet the challenge of maintaining equipment efficiency, reducing operational cost, and minimizing unscheduled maintenance.  Unforeseen and consistent rig downtime can directly affect top line day rates and contract renewal.  Key drilling components such as top drives, drawworks, pipe handlers, BOP controls, mud equipment and drilling control systems are the lifeline to a safe and efficient rig operation.

How can electrical cable minimize rig downtime?  One cable type is not fitting for each application.  Close collaboration with customers can determine cable turnover rates as it relates to mode of failure.  Products designed for certain applications can increase performance and minimize equipment downtime.

The good news is that EXANE cables are among those that can help!  State of the art cross-linking technology coupled with high grade compounds generate cables with improved life expectancy and field reliability.

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Topics: Exane Oil & Gas, Offshore Oil Rig Cables

VITALink 2-Hour For critical buildings meet UL 2196

Posted by Michael Brennan on Jan 31, 2017 11:09:45 AM

When building the newest facility for one of the most innovative companies in the world, which cable did they pick for their Life – Safety systems?

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Topics: VITALink Fire Safety, Eliminate Electrical System Failure

Is IEC 60331 test sufficient for fire resistive cables in petrochemical facilities?

Posted by Michael Betts on Jan 5, 2017 3:22:26 PM

In the public domain, such as a high-rise building or subway tunnel where people are present, clear standards exist to specify a fire safety cable to ensure notification, egress, and emergency system continued operation.

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Topics: VITALink Fire Safety

What are the FST requirements for train cars communication cables in North America?

Posted by Gil Shoshani on Dec 5, 2016 12:09:40 PM


Communication cables for train cars can be different in construction, size and materials but they need to comply with NFPA 130 and other local codes as apply for a specific project. Train cars communication cables include CAT 5E, CAT 6, MVB (Multifunction Vehicle Bus), WTB (Wire Train Bus), RS-485, LON (Local Operating Network), RS-422 and Canbus.

FST is an abbreviation of Flame, Smoke and Toxicity and is used in local train cars specifications.
The Flame requirement includes two tests, NFPA 130-2017 and 49 CFR part 238, Appendix B.

Chapter 8 of NFPA 130-2017, NFPA 130-2014 and NFPA 130-2010 specifies that all cables including communication cables for train cars shall pass the UL 1685 with FT4/IEEE 1202 flame method. UL 1685 is a large scale flame test and the cables are bundled as specified. During the 20 minutes vertical flame test, the total smoke and peak smoke are measured and needs to be below a specific value to pass the test.

The 49 CFR part 238, Appendix B. is a small scale flame test that is done on a single cable per NEMA WC 3/ICEA S-19-81, paragraph 6.19.6. The test includes 5 applications of 15 seconds flame with 15 seconds rest. The flame propagation and monitored to a specific height and ignition of cotton under the sample.

The Smoke requirement is a small scale test of ASTM E662 that is done on the finished cable. The test is conducted in flaming and non-flaming modes with specific values after 90 second, 4 minutes and 20 minutes.

  • Please note that UL 1685 has a smoke measurement test that needs to be satisfied.

The Toxicity test is specified as BSS 7239 per Boeing standard. The test is done in a smoke chamber and the various gases are measured by tubes. The gases includes Carbon Monoxide (CO), Hydrogen Fluoride (HF), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Hydrogen Chloride (HCL), Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2).

Local specification list the maximum ppm value per gas.

To learn about communication cables for train cars Physical, Mechanical and electrical requirements, please use link below to request a FREE CONSULTATION.

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Topics: Exane Transit and rolling Stock data cables