Shipboard Cables: Understanding the Difference Between Zero Halogen and Low Smoke
Shipboard cables may be designed to ensure safety of people. A lot of materials used to make the jackets and insulation of cables tend not to be very safe for people. If for example, you have shipboard vessels where there are people onboard, you want to ensure their safety. In the event of fire or other catastrophes, you should make sure people are safe. The terms ‘zero halogen’ and ‘low smoke’ are commonly used to describe shipboard cables. Well, while you may think these two terms mean the same or are equivalent, that is not the case.
Low smoke cables
With low smoke cables, they will release a thinner and clearer smoke as they burn. In locations where there are people such as shipboards, it can make evacuation as well as firefighting efforts to be easier. You may have a cable that is low smoke, but at the same time contains toxic halogens.
With zero halogens, it means that the cables do not contain iodine, bromine, fluorine, chlorine, or astatine. Again, zero halogen cables can still release a thick smoke after they burn. You may have cables that are zero halogen but not low smoke. Both properties may not always be needed in cables. So, when you purchase your cables, check the specifications to see that they meet the both requirements in case your cable applications demand that.
Combing zero halogen with low smoke
In cable applications that demand a high safety level, you may want to have cable products that possess both properties. This will make sure that the insulation and jacket do not release toxic gases and at the same time, there is low smoke. This way, tragedies can be prevented in the event of fire occurring, especially in shipboard vessels or other locations.
But what it the catch with low smoke zero halogen cables?
You will have great safety of people when you use the LSZH cables, but there is a trade-off here. These cables tend to have poorer mechanical as well as electrical properties because there is increased filler material. Again, at time of installation, LSZH jackets may experience cracking meaning the technicians may need to use special lubricants to avert damage, especially in cold environments.
RSCC AerodefenseSurprenant EMZ Shipboard Low Smoke Zero Halogen EMI Hardened Cable is one of the cables that combine these properties. This cable is non-watertight and used in shipboards. It may also be used on the hull of the ship. A low smoke polyolefin material is used to provide jacketing for the cable. The cross-linked low smoke polyolefin ensures that the cable is resistant to UV light, chemical, and wear and tear.
Sometimes, you may use the non-LSZH cables if safety of people is not of more concern in the locations where you are doing the installations. This way, you will have cables with more electrical and mechanical properties to ensure greater performance. Always, look at the specifications of the cable and examine the area of use to determine, which one is right for your specific application.