What are House wires & their types?

Overview: A lot of gadgets working on electricity like televisions, micro-wave ovens, FM radio or Refrigerators are used inside our homes. All these gadgets work on electricity and draw power from the sockets in switch boards and panels. Electric power is circulated to all the power outlets in the house by means of flexible wires. Thus these wires inside our house are majorly concealed and hidden behind carefully designed decor and slots inside the walls to preserve its elegant and clean look.

Installation of such house wires is an important task which needs to be done properly to keep the house away from mishaps occurring due to short circuits or electrical fires. Being flexible these house wires tend to bend and take the contour of the space they are about to be installed. Flexible wires, as we all know offer a great resistance to breakage and failure to due to load on a specific point while flexing or bending. Apart from the excellent flexibility these house wires typically come in a various color combinations. The outer sheath is available in red, blue, yellow, black or green colors for easy identification during installation and jointing.

A variety of brands have these domestic wiring cables in their portfolio in different length and gauge configuration and are very well chosen according to the application at hand. House wires are available in various types such as Fire retarding/fire retardant cables [FR cables], Fire retardant Low smoke halogen cables [FRLSH cables] and Fire retardant zero halogen cables [FRZH cables]. Different cables are called with different names mainly due to the type of protection they offer. Shop for such house cables online.

Before deep diving into the types of house wires available, knowing about the basic qualities of a house wire is a must. House wires are quintessentially the life line of the entire power distribution inside the house and residential scenarios. Electrical fire and mishaps cause a lot of property damage and that can be expensive to repair. What can be cheaper, is choosing the right cables at the very first step itself!

Fire retardant [FR] cables:

Cables and wires need to have an insulator which acts as the first line of defence against any mishaps. Thus this insulation material should preferably be made up of non conducting material which will resist electric current. Generally plastics like Polyvinyl Chloride, Fluro polymers and rubber can be used as an insulating material. Fire retarding property, if present in the material which protects the cable or the wire is an added advantage. What exactly does [FR] fire retarding mean in simple words? Is the most common question which arises in one’s mind which can be answered fairly easily. Basic meaning of a fire retardant is a substance which is able to reduce the rapid spread of fire and drastically lessen its intensity. If a cable has a fire retardant covering, any electric fire generated or initiated inside the house can be contained before it can cause major damage. Fire resistant cables will be able to hold its own and continue its function for some time before getting damaged but fire retardant cable mainly focus on obstructing the spread of fire which can prove to be fatal in most of the cases.

Fire retarding and fire resisting cables are used in two different scenarios and have different qualities too. Fire resistant cables are used where the integrity of the system should be kept intact as long as possible, for e.g. in case of emergency services or emergency lighting. Fire retarding cables are used where spread of the fire needs to be contained before it causes any damage. Now it is possible to shop online for FR cables of authentic certified brands.

Fire and its effects on cables: Yet another dangerous situation occurs when the wire or the cable starts burning and lets out smoke. Smoke in general is a type of pollutant which if inhaled by a person can cause some unwanted effects. Thus when there is an electrical fire incident, the insulation on the cables also burns letting out fumes which can have a lot of effects. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is commonly used as an insulating material in all types of cables especially in flexible house wires. PVC is made up of chains of alkenes double bonded with monomers. When PVC wire burns a variety of gases are emitted for e.g. Hydrogen chloride and Carbon mono oxide. On a still higher temperature hydrocarbon like benzene, ethylene are produced. Any gas release during burning will prove fatal to a person if exposed to it for prolonged period of time. Thus leading us to a conclusion that fire caused due to electrical faults are bad and if they occur, fumes and emissions due to them are still worst. To avoid such instances various cables are available which will retard the fire and also refrain from emitting toxic or harmful gases. Cables with mineral insulation have a very low burning rate as they have copper sheath, so these cables can withstand higher temperatures than polymeric insulated cables. Polymeric insulated cables will most definitely burn liberating toxic and harmful gases.

Choosing the right material for cables and important facts: Cables installed in household application, residential complexes and rooftop installations are the most crucial locations where the cable installed needs to be such, that it retards fire and protects the surroundings till the fire is extinguished. An electrical fire at such locations indeed causes a lot of destruction of property and possibly loss of life too. Thus to avoid such incidents wires which emit low smoke and wires which do not have halogen in them are preferred.

Typically when something burns, smoke is emitted which can be of varied density as well as colour. If a cable or a wire is involved in a fire, smoke and fumes will be emitted by the burning of the insulation for e.g if a standard PVC wire is burned it will burn releasing dense blackish smoke and toxic fumes as discusses earlier. If such a wire or a cable starts burning in a confined place for e.g. a house or a distribution box of a residential building the smoke emitted at that moment will fill up the entire space. The smoke emitted from such incidences can cause two major problems; first it will reduce the overall visibility, thus making the people trapped in such situation difficult to locate the door and escape and second it will obstruct the vision of the fire rescue operators to locate the trapped victims as well as rescue them in time. Toxic fumes apart from the smoke emitted can cause ill effects to the people who inhale them making the situation even more worst.

To avoid such dangerous situations, the cables, if subjected to fire, must emit very low smoke and should not contain any such materials which might emit poisonous or toxic fumes. Low smoke zero halogen cables are the type of cables suitable for application in Libraries, School, Auditoriums and Homes.

Sometimes cables and wires may play a small part or a major part in aiding the combustion process, it depends on the place where the cable is used too! A huge amount of efforts have been put into the design of cables and choice of materials to make them safer and fire retarding. All cables have insulation and can be broadly classified into cables having combustible insulating and non combustible insulating materials. In the recent times, almost all cables use a type of polymeric material for insulation, though some might use material like paper. Even though polymeric materials are combustible they are not as combustible as compared to materials like wood, cotton or paper.

Material used in the cable construction can be rated or judged from the parameters like flammability, resistance to spread of fire, heat release during the combustion, smoke release, toxic gas release and corrosive gas release. According to such parameters plasticized PVC, which is used in many cable and wire construction has a self ignition temperature of about 454℃, Flash temperature of 397℃and a heat releasing value of 19MJ/Kg. Here flash temperature can be understood by the temperature at which the gases emitted by the material can be ignited by a spark and self ignition temperature is the temperature at which it might ignite spontaneously. A polymeric cable material needs a flame retardant additive to the cable material to reduce flammability. Addition of halogen to polymeric materials like PVC or CSP shows a heightened degree of flame retarding behaviour. Halogen atoms react to the decomposition of the polymers in turn reducing the amount of gases released. The only down side of this reaction is the formation of Hydrogen Halides which are corrosive in nature. Halogen combination can be tweaked so that they release less corrosive elements but that can also affect the flame retarding qualities, which is not desirable. Low fire hazard cables and Low smoke and fume type cables are developed to take care of the modern safety regulations regarding the parameters already mentioned above. Among the two types Low fire hazard cables can be termed as Halogen free cables and do not emit Halogen based corrosive agents.

Fire retardant low smoke halogen cables:

FRLSH cables are one of the types of cables which are preferred over simple [FR] Fire retardant cables simply because of the advantages it provides. FRLSH cables are preferred in residential and house installation applications due to its fire retardant capabilities and low smoke emitting qualities. Due to emission of low smoke in case of fire it allows the occupants of that particular place to evacuate the premises and visibility in that area is not hampered. FRLSH cables find utility in and around inverters, battery connections and control panels. Apart from being used in residential applications such cables can be very well utilized in areas where there is a lot of human movement for e.g. schools, theatres and airports. PVC cables resist flames due to having fire retardant properties but emit thick black smoke when burnt hence Flame retardant low smoke compounds have compositions which ensure that these cables emit less smoke and corrosive fumes so that the surrounding machinery as well as people are protected from any harm. Buy online FRLS house cables.

Flame Retardant Zero Halogen [FRZH]:

FRZH cables as they are commonly known have a FRZH material as a jacket and is made up of thermoplastic or thermoset compounds. First invented by Richard Skipper back in 1979 and patented by Raychem Corporation, FRZH materials became available commercially. Aluminium Tetra Hydride [ALTH] is the most preferred material to be added to the thermoplastic composition to reduce the emission of gases and the smoke along with it. Aluminium Tetra Hydride has an endothermic reaction when subjected to fire, which means heat is absorbed and steam is released. This steam which is released helps in interrupting ignition of the other released gases and also helps in forming a char layer which shields the remainder material.

Prior to modern developments in the field, FRZH cables had a lower performance as compared to PVC cables but today’s date and time this has changed a lot. Cost of FRZH cables as compared to the normal PVC cable is high as it requires additional procedures in manufacturing. Modern FRZH cables maintain the flexibility, bending qualities as the PVC cables and are safer too! Such FRZH cables and its applications can be varied and specific at the same time.

Confined places and areas where ventilation is improper such as houses, residential building, aircrafts, tanks, submarines, subsea applications and other off the shore places, are the type of applications suitable for use of FRZH cables. Apart from these applications FRZH cables are and will be extensively used in nuclear applications as these wires won’t emit toxic and corrosive gases as well as the electronic machinery used in those facilities will remain protected too. To summaries the entire write up the cables which are used in particular residential applications need to be strong and flexible but fire retarding at the same time. Such cables have numerous advantages which have great impact and add to the overall safety for the occupants of the place. Fire can be destructive and life threatening if it occurs at crucial spots, so to avoid any mishaps cables with special jacket of Low smoke and Zero Halogen materials is used. Low smoke allows the rescue operation to be swift and easy; no halogen content in the materials means any dangerous fumes and gases emitted. All these things are possible due to the ongoing progress in the field of materials, cable design and construction. Cable with such jackets and compounds does not lose its flexibility or its strength which is most important if the cable is being utilized in places where the available space is limited. Thus FRLSH and FRZH cables help in improving safety and reduce the losses to minimum. Now buy FRZH cables at just a click of the button.

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