Corning responds to revised CPR regs with new cables

Created February 27, 2020
Technologies and Products

In summer 2019, the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) published revised safety guidance for exposed cables in railway tunnels, urging that all cables should fulfil Construction Products Regulation (CPR) characteristics of low flammability, low fire spread, low toxicity and low smoke density. In January 2020, the B2 classification was reconfirmed as general minimum fire safety requirement for this application.

In response, Corning has introduced the FREEDM™ B2 Gel-free Loose Tube Steel Armour Double Jacket Indoor/Outdoor cable family, developed to provide the backbone for optical cabling infrastructure in railway tunnels in EU and also globally. The cable family has already been rolled out in Central Europe and proven itself to be effective in major urban networks within the region.

“New technological advances and changing consumer habits mean that it is critically important to regularly review and update fire safety governance. Even more important is the capability and hardware availability to implement those changes,” said Matthias Nitschke, Director of Product Line Management for Corning Optical Communications.

He added, “We have moved quickly and effectively to develop and deploy our CPR B2-certified cable portfolio, which ensures that connectivity infrastructure in large scale rail networks can now reach the most stringent EU fire safety specifications. In addition, Corning’s EMEA test lab and manufacturing facility are now CPR System 1+ certified in collaboration with a notified body. This enables us to have end-to-end capabilities on flame retardant cables – from materials science, to manufacturing to now testing and certification of CPR cables.”

Corning says the FREEDM™ B2 class cables provide a number of benefits for railway operators and installers, including:

  • Completely gel-free cable construction, which saves time for installation and supports the burn behaviour in the event of fire by creating less hazardous waste, along with low flammability, low fire spread, low toxicity and low smoke density.
  • Armoured cable allowing higher protection in demanding environments.
  • Range of fibre counts from 12 to 192F.
  • Versatility in a number of environments including indoor/outdoor, duct/buried, pulled applications.
  • Water blocking technology for indoor/outdoor application, creating a moisture barrier.
  • Easily identifiable cable printing and CE labelling on the cable jacket to provide full customer transparency in regards to the cable’s CPR-evaluated performance.

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.