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CPR regulations, all the news for cables

CPR Regulation: as of July 1, it comes into mandatory force in all European Union states. It will determine the reaction of electrical wires in case of fire.

As of July 1, 2017, the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), which covers electrical cables and fabricated products used in the construction industry, will become mandatory in all European Union member states.

The legislation, moreover, which already came into effect in 2016 but is still not mandatory, aims to ensure the safety of products on the market by providing more specific information for industry professionals based on their technical characteristics and performance. Particularly for power cables, the European Commission has decided to take into consideration how they react in case of fire, heat resistance and reaction in such situations.

As can be guessed, the regulations involve not only cable manufacturers, but also electricians, designers and installers: in fact, they will be the ones responsible for choosing the appropriate cable based on the system that needs to be built.

Let’s see, then, what this new regulation provides with regard to power cables.

 

What’s new for power cables

First of all, it should be noted that the electrical wires involved in the regulation are those with fire-retardant characteristics. According to the regulation, they will now have to be classified on the basis of their fire behavior, be accompanied by a Declaration of Performance (DoP) and be CE marked.

A cable that complies with the CPR regulation, in addition to the wording already required under current law, will have to provide this additional information through a print directly on the wire:

  • The fire reaction class;
  • The year of production;
  • other specific notes affixed to ensure product traceability.

The fire reaction classes established are A, B1, B2, C, D, E, F in descending order and identified by the subscript “ca” meaning “cable”: each class determines minimum thresholds for heat release and flame spread.

In addition to this, the regulations established these additional parameters:

  • a = acidity, which defines the dangerousness of fumes to people and corrosiveness to property.
  • s = smoke opacity.
  • d = dripping glowing particles that can spread the fire.

 

With the marking of this information on the electrical cable and the publication of the declaration of performance, which must contain precisely these indications, conformity checks and identification of the product’s origin will be easier and more immediate by the competent authorities.

Not only that, because the regulation goes in the direction of making plants and facilities where cables are used safer, incentivizing manufacturers to study even more reliable and innovative solutions.