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Cable Insulation Tensile & Elongation Measurement

Cable testing to ascertain the measurements of tensile strength and elongation is used to determine the mechanical properties of insulating and sheathing compounds.

The Standard BS EN 60811-501 determines the cable test methods applied to cross-linked and thermoset insulation and sheathing materials.

The tensile strength of a material is the amount of force needed to pull that material to the point of break. The elongation is a measure of the length that the material can be stretched to before breaking.

In order to make a proper comparison between the properties of different materials, standard cable sample preparation methods must be used. Cable samples for tensile and elongation testing are prepared by removing the conductors and any tapes with the size and shape of the cable determining if the test piece is a tubular sample or cut into a smooth dumbbell shape. The sample material is then allowed to condition for three hours before the test at a temperature of 23°C +/-5°C.

The cable sample for testing is marked in the centre, with two marks 20mm apart for larger cables and 10mm for smaller cable types. Cable cross-sectional areas are calculated for the sample pieces so that the force required to pull the sample to point of break can be expressed in terms of force x cross-sectional area (N/mm2). The distance between the marks on the cable are to determine the degree of stretch or elongation to the point of break expressed as a percentage (%).

The test for cable tensile strength and cable elongation is performed on materials in the condition as manufactured, but subsequent testing after accelerated ageing is also required for these material types. Results after ageing give an appreciation of how ageing affects the mechanical properties of the materials.

The materials used for the insulation and sheathing of electric cables have predefined requirements for minimum elongation and tensile strength, and any variation after ageing, all detailed in the relevant material standards.


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The Cable Lab®

UKAS-accredited specialist cable testing laboratory

About Eland Cables

The Cable Lab® our in-house cable testing facility, is UKAS-accredited to ISO 17025, which is the single most important standard for calibration and testing laboratories around the world. Accreditation to this international standard demonstrates our laboratory's technical competence and the accuracy of its results.

For our customers, it means peace of mind. They can have full confidence in the quality of our products and can demonstrate due diligence in selecting their cable supplier.

Our customers can also rely on the Cable Lab's services for an independent, objective and comprehensive quality assessment of cables procured from third parties.


About Eland Cables

About Eland Cables

Established in 1975, Eland Cables is a supplier of power, data, instrumentation and control cables and cable accessories to the world's most demanding industries and to some of its most prestigious projects. Our reputation is built on an unswerving focus on quality, technical expertise and customer service.


Our focus on quality has resulted in our in-house specialist cable testing facility securing the ISO 17025 accreditation. This certifies the competence, impartiality and performance capability of our laboratory and its evaluations. In turn, it means peace of mind for our customers with regard to the quality of the cables they source from us.

Expert tecHnical support

Our highly-qualified technical team is on hand to provide technical support with all aspects of cable selection, technical specification, regulatory requirements, and bespoke cable design and manufacture.

Complete Cable Solutions

We are a key contributor to projects in over 100 countries every year, adding value through comprehensive technical support, reliable logistics, innovative solutions, and a customer-centric approach.