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
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
- 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
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
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.
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™
- Smoke obscuration is 4 times less than
- Peak smoke release is 11 times less than
- Total smoke release is 4 times less than
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.
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)