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Houston Wire & Cable Company

LifeGuard™ Product Brochure
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LifeGuard™ cable is manufactured using low-smoke zero-halogen compounds that provide many advantages and protection over standard constructions of cable. Highly engineered polymers developed after years of research has produced a new breed of cables that offer excellent electrical and mechanical characteristics, superior flame resistance, low smoke production and reduced toxicity.

These cables are ideal for use in environments where high-performance, reliability and safety are required. Best of all, the applications for LifeGuard™ cables are virtually endless. The advantages of this product make it an excellent candidate for use in a broad range of applications including:

  • Utility: power generation, co-generation and merchant power
  • Industrial plants: petrochemical, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical and waste water treatment
  • Data Centers: computer rooms, switching centers and central offices
  • Highly populated facilities: multistory buildings, hotels, hospitals, sports centers, airports, and mass transit stations

 

What are halogens and why are they dangerous?

Halogens are a group of highly reactive elements including fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine. When products containing halogens are burned, they produce very dangerous gasses. Public awareness of these dangers began after several tragic fires claimed the lives of victims who inhaled deadly halogenated fumes.

Several fires, including those at the Beverley Hills Supper Club, London's Kings Cross Underground Station and Germany's Düsseldorf Airport, have lead to important changes that significantly limit where cables containing halogens may be used. Many organizations, local authorities and governments have undertaken broad initiatives to eliminate the production of halogenated material. In Asia, the United Kingdom and many European communities, the use of wire and cable containing halogens is highly regulated, and in some areas completely prohibited.

 

Why is zero halogen better?

Two halogens-chlorine and fluorine-are extensively used in compounds for insulating and jacketing electrical wire and cable. Many common materials like PVC, Hypalon®, Neoprene®, and FEP and PTFE Teflon® contain significant amounts of these halogens. PVC, for example, contains 29% chlorine by weight; CPE 19% chlorine by weight; and Teflon has 76% fluorine by weight.

Halogenated compounds are normally very stable. When they burn, however, the halogens separate and become highly reactive, forming very toxic, extremely dangerous and corrosive gasses that can significantly damage organic, inorganic and metallic materials. The hydrogen chlorine gas produced from burning PVC, for example, is similar to mustard gas.

These halogenated gasses are dangerous because when in contact with water they immediately form acid. The chlorine from PVC makes hydrochloric acid and the fluorine from Teflon makes hydrofluoric acid, both of which are among the strongest and most corrosive acids. The water source that the gasses use to form these acids can be found almost anywhere-moisture in the eyes, throat and lungs of individuals with whom it comes in contact, as well as fire sprinkler systems and even humidity in the air.

Fires involving the combustion of halogenated materials can be devastating. Inhalation of dangerous fumes can cause serious harm or even death to humans. Acid rain and fumes can quickly destroy expensive industrial and computer equipment.

Cables containing halogens also produce significantly higher levels of carbon monoxide (CO) gas during combustion. Emission levels of this dangerous and potentially lethal gas are reduced by as much as 360% in non-halogenated cable constructions.

 

Low Smoke = Increased Safety

When halogenated materials burn it produces thousands of tiny particles consisting of gas, soot and chemical residue. This combination of byproducts is what is seen as smoke. Cable manufactured with non-halogenated material produces far less residue when burned. Less residue also means less smoke.

LifeGuard™ cable jackets contain no halogens, so should it ever be exposed to flame, far less vision-impairing smoke is produced.

Clearly it's easy to see the LifeGuard™ advantage.

  • Smoke obscuration is 4 times less than PVC
  • Peak smoke release is 11 times less than PVC
  • Total smoke release is 4 times less than PVC

The Future

HWC's LifeGuard™ cable represents progressive innovation in cable design and technology. It provides significant advantages over traditional constructions of cable, and adds a new dimension of functionality, value and safety that was previously unavailable.

LifeGuard™ cable is the product of the future, and HWC has it in stock and ready to ship.

* Some cable insulations may contain trace amounts of halogens.

(Copyrighted material, Houston Wire ®2008)

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