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Shrinkage Test for Cable Insulation

Cable testing for shrinkage is designed to check if the insulation material will shrink back whilst in service - any shrinkage could be dangerous, exposing live conductors and possibly cause electric shock or short circuit.

Shrinkage can be caused by the applied polymer material trying to recover from stresses inherent in the manufacturing process or caused during subsequent handling.

The test for shrinkage of cable insulation is specified in the standard BS EN 60811-502 which provides the accredited test methods for testing non-metallic materials of all types of cables. The test methods are intended to be referenced in standards for cable construction and for cable materials.

cable oven for cable shrinkage testing

There are two key pieces of equipment used for testing insulation shrinkage in cables - an air oven which is electrically heated and controlled, and a measuring device capable of measuring to within a tolerance of 0.5mm.

cable shrinkage testing

A prepared test length of L+/-5mm is marked in the middle of each sample of insulated conductor, each test piece is then prepared by cutting and removing the insulation from both ends of each sample up to positions between 2mm and 5mm away from the marks. The cable is then placed in the air oven, supported horizontally, at temperatures and for time periods defined for that insulation material type in the relevant standard. After the appropriate air oven exposure and being allowed to cool in air to room temperature, the percentage shrinkage of insulation is measured and results are compared against allowable tolerances. It should be noted that the ambient room temperature within the cable facility is controlled and regulated in accordance with the ISO 17025 cable testing laboratory requirements.

The duration of the test for cable insulation shrinkage can differs between materials as they may have different requirements for temperature and time, for example cross-linked polyethylene is tested at 130°C for 1 hour. 


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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.