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Cable Spike Testing

Cable Spike Testing

Spike Testing for cables is designed to prove that a cable with a wire screen is capable of withstanding the maximum designated voltage in the event of a sudden surge in current.

The copper wire screen (CWS) or aluminium wire screen (AWS) act as an earthing wire for the phase conductors. Testing methodology requires the cable to have the outer sheath removed and the screen unravelled and 'pigtailed' to provide maximum connectivity and conductivity. Any semi-conducting inner layers and tapes are then removed before the insulation is partially stripped to reveal the conductor before a lug is placed on the conductor end and crimped into place.

Once the cable is prepared, the phase connector is connected to a single phase 50hz power supply whilst the wire screen is connected to earth. A spike is then hammered into the centre of the test cable sample, ensuring connection to both the screen and the underlying conductor. The short circuit of the cable is then confirmed.

The spike test itself sees the 50hz power supply applied to the cable with the resulting arc of current causing violent reactions, running to temperatures of up to 1500oC and burning all layers of the cable sample down to the conductor. 




To pass the cable spike test, the analysis of the test must demonstrate that the cable could withstand the fault current at a specified voltage for a minimum period of 3 seconds.

This load test is conducted at a partner laboratory as there are only a few sites in Europe capable of undertaking this test under the supervision and oversight of technicians from The Cable Lab.

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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.