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Measurement of Smoke Density of Cables Burning under Defined Conditions

As is well known that the insulation and jacket materials (including part of
shield materials) of most of optical & electric cables are organic polymers,
such as PVC, PE, PU. In the places where these cables are used, such as in
cabins, aircrafts, vehicles and all kinds of buildings, people usually design
and install bundled wires and cables that are used in various applications
into very crowded routing troughs as possible, so as to In order to keep
visual enjoyment. Once combustion occurs under the action of fire source
these organic polymer materials will release massive amount of toxic
smokes in limited space. According to the incomplete statistics of National
Fire Control Headquarters, most of the death in tens of thousands of fire
accidents each year the people died caused by flame directly account for
extreme minority, and most of the people died in the fire accidents are killed
by the toxic smokes which are released from the burning materials.

Therefore, under the specified space and burnt conditions, the light
transmittance of the smoke released out in the burning of the insulation and
jacket of optical and electric cables can be used as a means of evaluating
different cables or judging if they complying with the specific specifications.
And the light transmittance of the smoke can be measured using a fixed
light source. The purposes of the test is to prompt the producer choosing
quality LSZH ( low smoke zero halogen) materials, so as to expedite the
better development of Chinas plastics and cable industries.

The smoke density is defined as the density of the smoke emitted from the
objects burning caused by fire source and under defined space, in g/cm 3.
The standard for the measurement of smoke density of electric or optical
cables burning under defined conditions is GB/T17651.1-17651.2-1998,
which is equivalent to IEC 610341.1-61034.2.1997.

The measurement of smoke density is specified to be carried out in a cubic

testing chamber that has 3000
20 mm3 inner space. Also the standard specifies in detail the mounting
position of the light sources, the placing angle of the draught screens, the
placing height of the samples and fire sources, the direction of air flow, the
adjustment of the light sources and powers, the spectrum response of the
light receivers and the adjustment of receiving sensitivity, as well as the
configuration of the standard fire sources, the necessity of the blank test,
and the test procedures for samples.

1. The test sample shall consist of one or more test sections of cable, each
1, 00 m 0, 05 m long which shall be carefully straightened and then
conditioned for at least 16 h at 23 5 C.

2. the number of test pieces required to make up the test sample shall be in
accordance with the overall diameter of the cable as followed
D40 mmn=1
D40 mmn=1
20D40 mmn=2
20D40 mmn=2
10D20 mmn=3
10D20 mmn=3
5D10 mmn=45/D
5D10 mmn=45/D
2D5 mm n=45/3D (The number of test pieces, n, shall be rounded
downwards to the integer )

3. For each bundle, the test pieces shall be twisted together, and bound with
two turns of approximately 0, 5 mm diameter metal wire in the centre and
at every 100 mm each side from the centre, meanwhile test pieces shall be
bound together at the ends, and at 300 mm from each end, at which place
they shall be clamped to the support by means of wire binders. The center
of the test pieces axis shall be keeping in a horizontal position with the
centre of the rectangular burning tray.

4. Place the draught screen and the flow fan in the position according the
dimension defined by the standard.

5. On the basis of light source stabilized, adjust the optical transmitter and
receiver, making the light transmittance when receiving to be the critical
point of 100 % transmission. Fully cover the light receiving window and
adjust the light transmittance displayed in the light receiver to the critical
point of 0.00%.

6. Carefully pour mixed standard fire sourcealcohol into the burning tray,
with the test sample supported above the tray, start the small fan making
air circulation and ignite the alcohol. Make sure that all persons leave the
cube immediately, and that the door is closedthen observe the change of
light transmittance.

7. The test is considered as ended when there is no decrease in light

transmittance for 5 min after the fire source has extinguished or when the
test duration reaches 40 min