Network Communications News (NCN) October 2016 - Page 23

CPR requirements F E AT U R E The harmonised European standard provides requirements for cables used in permanent constructions with regard to their reaction to fire. Peak performance New Construction Products Regulation (CPR) updates are set to harmonise cable requirements for reaction to fire across Europe. Nancy De Clerck of Nexans explains what the changes mean for manufacturers, distributors and end users. T he Construction Products Regulation (CPR) has been around for over 25 years (initially as a European Directive) and is now being applied to power, control and communication cables. But what does this mean for manufacturers, distributors and end users? Common language The CPR lays down harmonised rules for bringing construction products to market in the European Union (EU). It provides a common technical language to assess the performance of these products with the purpose to allow professionals and consumers to define their performance demands and to enable free circulation of these goods throughout the European Economic Area (EEA). Each EU member state - without exception - is obliged to adopt CPR terminology into its national regulations. With the publication of h/EN 50575 in July 2015, the CPR now also includes cables. This harmonised European standard provides requirements for cables used in permanent constructions (buildings and other civil works) with regard to their reaction to fire. All power, control and communication cables copper and fibre - are in scope. A closer look at performance levels The performance levels are classified by a ‘EuroClass’ for flame propagation and heat release, going from A (noncombustible) to F (no fire performance), and by three additional criteria for smoke (s), acidity (a) and flaming droplets (d). For cables, only four EuroClasses are relevant: B2ca, Cca, Dca and Eca. Manufacturers are not allowed to ‘self-declare’ these performance levels, but need to have their cables tested and certified by a Notified Body accredited by the EC. There are two levels of assessment and certification procedures: System 1+ for the higher performance EuroClasses B2ca and Cca and System 3 for the medium to lower performance EuroClasses Dca and Eca. System 3 only involves a type test on samples submitted to the Notified Body by the 23 23-24 CPR – Nexans.indd 23 03/10/2016 12:03