Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Performance & Safety Issues Found in Offshore Communications Cable


The Communications Cable & Connectivity Association (CCCA) commissioned an independent lab to test nine randomly chosen samples of Category cable, all carrying the UL or ETL mark. They released the findings in a recent press release that cited the following results:

- 9 out of 9 failed to meet all minimum physical requirements for communications cable (per TIA 568-B.2 spec)

- 4 out of 9 failed to meet all minimum electrical test requirements for communications cable (per TIA 568-B.2)

- 8 out of 9 failed to meet the minimum flame/smoke safety requirements specified by the National Electrical Code (specifications UL 1666 and NFPA 262)

- 4 out of 5 CMR (riser) rated cables failed the UL 1666 flame test. The failing cables burned the entire length of the test chamber. The worst cable burned beyond the maximum length allowed in 45 seconds, and reached a temp of 2000 degrees F.

- 4 out of 4 CMP (plenum) rated cables failed the NFPA 262 plenum test. The samples showed peak smoke levels at least 3 times higher than maximum allowable levels. The worst performing cable had disastrous results.

- Peak smoke levels were >4x higher than maximum allowable levels

- Average smoke levels were >5x higher than maximum allowable levels

- Flame spread reached maximum length of the chamber within 6 minutes

To read the full Press Release, go to the CCCA Website.