The most notable or well known “Cable Coating” approval within the market is FM Globals’ FM3971: Flame Retardant Coating for Grouped Electrical Cables. This is a great test to show that a cable coating will stop flame spread. This test is designed to stop flame spread on the cable surface, stopping the propagation of the fire from the source to another area. It does not however save the cable, it simply stops the spread of flame, so cables most typically need replacing.
There are of course several other standards within the market that show similar results, such IEEE, BS467; Part 6&7, ASTM E-84 and so on, but really the most prominent approvals for Electrical Cable, fire and Fire Rating is the “International Electrotechnical Commission” and the IEC 60331 series.
Typically Cable Coatings are tested to IEC 60331-21 or IEC 60331-23 utilizing the IEC 60331-11 apparatus. It is a common mistake in the marketplace that cable coatings are tested to IEC 60331-11 as we see in many specifications, but IEC 60331-11 is only the standard for the equipment used.
Which brings us to the choices manufacturers make when testing to IEC and why CharCoat chose High Voltage (HV) cable instead of Low Voltage (LV).
As noted in our data and test reports, CharCoat CC is tested and approved for 90 minutes Fire Rating under IEC 60331-21 to High Voltage cable(s) of 5000/8000V. Utilizing this standard when applying CharCoat CC to electrical cables, not only stops spread of flame (as in FM3971), but also Fire Rates the cable and saves the cable(s), which means (dependant on damage) cable replacement is not needed.
High-voltage cable (HV cable) is an electrical cable used for electric power transmission at “high voltage”. High-voltage cables may be any length, with relatively short cables used in apparatus, longer cables run within buildings or as buried cables in an industrial plant or for power distribution. Its very important to note that High voltage is defined as any voltage over 1000 volts.
Most cable coating manufacturers test to IEC 60331-21 or 23 using cables rated at 600/1000 volts, or Low voltage. Some also even test with armoured cable with similar or smaller voltage.
What Does This Mean?
It means that a cable coating, tested on a cable or cables to IEC 60331-21 or 23 with a tested voltage of 600/1000, can then “Fire Rate” low voltage cable or cables ONLY. It cannot be applied to a HV or MV cable and fire rate that cable. It is only tested and approved for LV works only.
For CharCoat CC, as our Cable Coating is already fully tested to 5000/8000V (HV), it can easily be applied to cables that size and under including MV, LV, data or specialty cable and sheathes.
Please feel free to contact us to discuss your requirments and how we can protect your HV, MV or LV electrical cables from fire.