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?
World Class Engineered Cable Blog
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.
Topics: VITALink Fire Safety
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.
The short answer is “yes” they should. Critical electrical circuits or Fire Safety Systems are referred to as Life Safety Systems intended to operate under extreme heat and flame to SAVE Lives. As a manufacturer of fire safety cables, RSCC produces VITALink brand cables sold for the commercial installation market that pass UL 2196 in the U.S. and ULC-S139 in Canada.
Topics: VITALink Fire Safety
You need to meet both NFPA 130 AND AAR-S-501 Transit Authority standards
to comply and ensure safety.
Specifiers of wire and cable in Transit Car electrical systems know that Vehicle Procurement Contracts let for the past five years require that wire and cable used in Rolling Stock must meet the NFPA 130 standard. But, in addition to the NFPA 130 standard, wire and cable also must meet additional physical and electrical requirements set by the Transit Authority.
The NFPA 130 standard requires wire and cable to meet the Underwriters Labs (UL) 1685 flame test (UL 1685 flame method is per IEEE 1202/FT4) and is primarily focused on 2 aspects of safety: Flame Spread and Smoke Generation. The primary purpose of the standard is to set limits to the spread of flame and also to set limits on the amount of smoke generated by the wire and cable once it comes into contact with the a fire. By setting these limits, the ability of the occupants of the vehicle to escape a fire event increases significantly.
However, it is important to note that NFPA 130 is not a stand-alone document for wire and cable performance in a Transit Vehicle application. It is an add-on to the Transit Authority base specification. The cable must be compliant to NFPA 130 and must also meet the other physical and electrical requirements of the Transit Authority Specification. AAR-S-501 or RP-585 provide all the base requirements for wire and cable used by most Transit Authorities. Cables should meet these requirements in addition to those specified in NFPA 130.
Most current transit car procurement standards require compliance to NFPA 130 2014, however, the most current version available is NFPA 130 2017 (see web link below)
For your convenience, we are providing a summary of the AAR-S-501 or RP-585 key points by downloading a reference document
What cables meet US requirements for offshore rig installations in a hazardous area environment? Although it makes economic sense to standardize on one cable type, specifying engineers need to be cautious when trying to standardize as some applications which meet IEC standards do not in fact meet the requirements of the US API RP-14F standard or even meet the minimal cable construction requirements of IEEE Std.1580 as Marine Shipboard Cable.
Topics: Marine Shipboard Cable
The oil and gas industry has documented that by not specifying the highest performing cable at relatively modest additional cost has led to systems and operator downtime sometimes as expensive as $500,000 to $600,000 per day per incident.
Cables specified for electrical and fire safety systems need to operate in extreme environments for cold, high heat, wet, chemical exposure (minerals and esters), sunlight, and longer and hotter operating times.
Thermoset materials are better than thermoplastic types when exposed to extreme temperature and drilling muds with harsh chemicals and oils. However, not all thermoset materials perform the same. Some materials have trade-offs such as low resistance to thermal cycling or failure in arctic temperatures down to -70C.
When specifying cables for offshore marine oil rig electrical systems don’t risk fire safety and electrical failures. Exane ® MR, manufactured by RSCC Wire & Cable, East Granby, Connecticut, has a historical industry position of meeting and exceeding standards required by IEC 61892-4 and NEK 606.
In June 2012 UL learned of compatibility issues when Classified Fire-Resistive Cables were installed in systems where zinc was used as in interior coating in rigid steel conduits. At the high temperatures the zinc coating inside the conduit system vaporizes and interacts with the copper conductor creating a brass alloy. Brass melts at a lower temperature, which compromises the integrity of the electrical system causing premature failure. The UL-2196 test is designed to evaluate the performance of electrical circuit protective systems in severe fire events—specifically, when exposed to fire for 2 hours followed by the mechanical shock of a fire hose stream.
UL-2196 Cable Performance Testing Impacts The Following Projects:
There are differences between cables that are flame retardant and those that are fire rated. Flame retardant cables can resist the spread of fire but fire rated cables maintain circuit integrity and continue to work in the presence of fire. This article below will describe the differences between flame retardant and fire rated cables.
It’s important to have fire rated cables that meet UL 2196 and the requirements of the code as well as know which type of cable will work best as well as save you money. Two common types of cables to compare are metal clad (MC) and mineral insulated (MI). Each meets the requirements of the code, but are different when compared to labor costs. Time is money and you can be spending a lot of money for someone to appropriately install a cable. Know what the cost effective solution is between MC and MI cables.
Topics: VITALink Fire Safety