Hans Beele, Beele Engineering (passive fire safety specialists), questioned the difference between what fire safety regulations require on paper and reality in installations, due to the gap between construction and certification. This is particularly critical for cables which can pass from one room to another, crossing fire barriers, and which can make up a significant fire load if disused cables are not removed as new ones are added when electrical and communications systems are modified.
Materials are fire safety certified, but generally not seals around penetrations through barriers and into voids, yet these must stop not only fire but also moisture and chemicals.
Flame retardants are required at high loadings in cables, and this impacts material properties. Particular attention must be paid to durability over real life times, often 20 years or more, and to possible deterioration resulting from repeated changes in temperature. Beele Engineering therefore has developed in-house compounding to provide flame retardant – polymer packages for specific engineering applications. Smoke emission and corrosivity are key issues, and PIN flame retardants can address these. Beele Engineering has launched its own Sealing Valley Campus with NOBO, bringing together, R&D, pilot test facilities and installer training.