Foundations of the CPR Regulation
In March 2011, the European Parliament published the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) as a Regulation. This regulation sets out the conditions for the marketing of construction products throughout the European Union. This regulation regulates all cables that are part of a construction, whether they are electrical, data, switchgear, fibre optics, etc.
The member states have had to adapt their national regulations to bring them into line with the European CPR. Spain, in particular, and as far as cables are concerned, had to adapt the regulations on Common Telecommunications Installations (ICT) and the Low Voltage Regulation.
One of the fundamental aspects of the CPR is the exhaustive regulation of the behaviour of materials in the event of fire. Cables are no exception. The CPR divides cables according to their behaviour according to these parameters, ordered from worst to best:
- Contribution to fire development (Fca to Aca).
- Smoke production (s3 to s1)
- Particle fall (d2 to d0)
- Acidity (a3 to a1)
Thus, the requirement for a cable is determined by its minimum value in each of the 4 criteria.
Example: Cca, s2, d1, a2.
Normally, the requirements, with some exceptions, only refer to the first parameter, which we will now look at in more detail.
A cable that does not meet any of the requirements is classified as Fca, which literally means “no classification” and would be a general purpose cable. In outdoor and non-hazardous deployments, we see that most cables are Fca.
So we increase the requirements as we see in the table.
And as a quality ceiling in response to fire, we find class a, “no reaction to fire”.
The ICT standard states that telecommunication cables installed in ICT must be at least Dca. In other words, class E and F cables cannot be installed in a residential building, due to their insufficient resistance to the propagation of fire.
It is possible that the optional management establishes improvements in the requirements and makes them more demanding than the regulatory minimum. For example, we often find Dca class requirements in places where, standard in hand, Fca would be sufficient. In any case, if the project management requires it, it becomes mandatory.
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