Prysmian Group launches genuine CPR compliant Draka Cat.6 U/UTP Cca D64 Cable

Prysmian Group, the cable manufacturer, has launched the new UK-manufactured Draka UC400 23 Category 6 U/UTP LSHF D64 Cca data cable.

The new cable has been designed and engineered by the Prysmian Group Multi Media Solutions business to comply with the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) to Euroclass Cca s1a d1 a1 fire performance rating, provide a high degree of usability including deployment from a 305m Reelex box and deliver full Category 6 / Class E compliant electrical performance.

CPR for cable products that are permanently installed in buildings has been in force since July 2017. CPR requires third party testing of cables with a Notified Body for heat-energy content, plus spread of fire, smoke, acidity, heat emission and droplet formation (burning drops of plastic that spread fire), to ensure they meet fire performance requirements laid out in EN 50575, the product standard for all cables.

To meet these stringent fire safety tests, the existing Draka Cat.6 U/UTP Eca cable needed to be redesigned, as did others on the market. An example of one of the challenges for manufacturers has been to balance the volume of air spaces within the cable, necessary to achieve category 6 transmission characteristics, whilst at the same time minimising potential for the air to help propagate the spread of a fire. The industry has been faced with a dichotomy: Optimisation of the cable design to achieve Cca classification but fail the electrical tests or vice versa.

Prysmian Group has invested considerable resources in developing a new Cat. 6 U/UTP Cca cable that meets both criteria without compromise: high data transmission levels are maintained and the cable is genuinely CPR Cca rating compliant, even when used from a Reelex box. This has been achieved through a range of material engineering developments, optimisation of the cable construction design and fine tuning of the manufacturing processes.

Furthermore, the new cable remains compact, with a diameter of just 5.9mm, and a high degree of flexibility for easy installation. Draka claims there is no visible difference, or difference in handling performance, to its existing high density Eca rated cables.

“The Multi-Media Solutions team based at our UK factory in Washington, Tyne and Wear has spent over 18 months working on solving the challenge of manufacturing a Euroclass Cca rated Cat.6 U/UTP cable product, which meets the industry requirements of a high-density cable outside diameter and box deployment” stated Neil Mabbott, Multi-Media Solutions UK technical director. “It has not been easy, especially to produce a cable that can withstand the Reelex/installation-simulation tests. Prysmian Group is the biggest cable manufacturer in the world and we have used its full resources, with a large number of people working on this project. We are delighted that we now have a solution which is 100% reliably tested by SH02 WG10 Notified Bodies and can be deployed from a Reelex box.

“However, as part of the process many other supposed Cca rated Cat.6 U/UTP cables from the market were third party tested, and all failed to meet the CPR classification stated on the manufacturers Declaration of Performance. This is particularly worrying when you consider Cat.6 U/UTP is one of the most popular cable products in Europe. Buying cable from a recognised, trusted company is therefore essential.”

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