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Smoke Density Testing

Cable Smoke Density Testing - 3 metre cube test

Cable Smoke Density Testing to BSEN 61034 (previously BS EN 50268) is commonly known as the 3 metre cube test. It is designed to determine the volume of smoke generated when cables are burned.

The Cable Smoke Density Test is primarily performed on Low Smoke Zero Halogen cables, and is conducted inside a custom-built chamber measuring 3 metres wide by 3 metres deep by 3 metres high - hence the three metre cube test name.

Over a period of 40 minutes the cables are burned whilst a beam of white light crosses the chamber. A fan is used to circulate the air, mimicking a fire scenario. The smoke density test monitors the transmittance of this light with a minimum 60% light visibility being required for LSZH cables. 

Smoke density testing isn't usually conducted on PVC cables as when subjected to fire the cable sheathing and insulation materials emit large quantities of toxic fumes and light obscuring black smoke which would completely cloak the white light beam. 

This test can also be used to assess LSF Low Smoke Fume cables, although as these are often constructed with a PVC variant they can often produce similar volumes of smoke to standard PVC.

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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.