Germany’s standards agency VDE originally set the parameters for circuit integrity for cables, wires and flexible cords in the event of a fire in standard VDE 0472. Whist this standard has now been superseded by German standard VDE 0482, it remains widely referred to.
Cables with improved circuit integrity when subject to a fire are often referred to as fire performance cables. They are categorised according to the length of time during which they can maintain their circuit integrity in the event of extended flame exposure under mechanically unstressed connection.
Extended flame exposure duration (FE)
FE60 cables - 60 minutes (1 hour)
FE90 cables - 90 minutes (1.5 hours)
FE120 cables - 120 minutes (2 hours)
VDE 0472 and International Standard Equivalents
VDE 0472 is similar to the British Standard BS 6387 Cat C, and to the International Standard IEC 60331 (FE). It assesses the resistance of a single insulated cable and bunches of cables against vertical flame propagation. As with other national and international standards agencies, there are numerous sub-sections to circuit integrity tests and flame resistance:
|German Standard (old)||German Standard (new)||Scope of Standard||International standard equivalent|
|DIN VDE 0472 Part 804B||DIN EN 60332-1 VDE 0482-332-1||Flammability of a single cable||IEC 60332-1|
|DIN VDE 0472 Part 804C||DIN EN 60332-3 VDE 0482-332-3||Flammability of bunched cables||IEC 60332-3 Category C|
|DIN VDE 0472 Part 813||DIN EN 60754-2 VDE 0482-754-3||Corrosiveness of gases emitted during fire||IEC 60754-2|
|DIN VDE 0472 Part 814||DIN VDE 0472 Part 814||Insulation performance under fire||IEC 60331|
|DIN VDE 0472 Part 816||DIN EN 61034-1 VDE 0482-1034-1||Measurement of smoke density||IEC 61034-1|
According to VDE 0472, the test requires the cable to be thermally stressed by the application of a propane-gas burner, the flame of which shall be 125mm and/or 175mm in height. In order to achieve compliance to VDE 0472 Part 804, there should either be no flaming of the cable at all, or the flame should extinguish itself after the burner is removed before it reaches the upper end of the cable being tested.
Technical Support with Cables Manufactured to VDE 0472
Eland Cables’ technical engineers have vast experience of providing technical support in relation to fire performance cables including the Socapex cable for lighting technology applications and NHXH and NHXCH cables manufactured in accordance with VDE 0472 as well as other international standards. Please contact us to discuss your specific application.
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