General Cable, the leading company in the international cable sector, continues to adapt its product range to progress with the development of the European Construction Products Regulation (CPR), adopted last year. The aim of this legislation is to facilitate the free movement of safe and harmonized construction products within the European Union. As it is a regulation, it is automatically binding in all member states. General Cable thus shows its commitment to safety and offers its customers a guarantee of products in line with the requirements of the CPR.
All construction products used in the European market must have the CE mark and fulfil quality standards defined homogeneously in classes. The level of requirements for each standard (class) is the responsibility of each member state. The CPR regulation also applies to energy, control and communication cables, since they form a permanent part of the construction. It includes harmonized technical specifications and a unified vocabulary, in addition to method for the assessment and verification of constancy of performance.
One of the main demands of the CPR is safety in the event of a fire. Each reaction to fire class details the performance of the cable in the face of fire. The verification procedure includes functional factors, such as non-propagation of the fire, contribution to the development of the fire, flaming droplets, smoke and gas emissions, and their acidity. All these requirements are defined to increase the level of safety for people and goods. Its field of application covers buildings and civil engineering work, such as tunnels, bridges and motorways.
According to the specifications of the CPR regulation, there are seven fire performance classes, going from A (very high level) to F (very low level). There are also additional criteria for classes B to D, such as smoke, acidity and flaming droplets or particles. As established by the CPR, General Cable incorporates a declaration of performance (DoP) into its cables, which specifies their use, the reaction to fire class and the supporting technical information. The regulation is currently in the transitional phase and will be binding from 1 July 2017.
General Cable’s R&D teams have been working for all its cables to comply with the parameters of their specific classes and we are launching our first Declarations of Performance covering an important part of our product range. Improved safety has always been one of the company’s greatest concerns, especially in relation to the behaviour of cables in the face of fire. The CPR regulation is a great achievement of the industry in this respect and General Cable has unreservedly supported it. Indeed, it participated together with other companies and associations in the development of the rule. The first objective is prevention (avoiding the risk of fire), but if a fire occurs it is also very important to limit the associated negative effects.