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Topic Title: Cable Quality SWA LSF
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Created On: 21 January 2018 12:32 AM
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 21 January 2018 12:32 AM
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Posts: 19
Joined: 11 July 2016

Just returned home from late shift and had the displeasure of installing the supply to a new external feeder pillar. The job it's self wasn't so bad it was just the difficulty and stripping of the SWA .
It was standard Draka stuff 16mm 3core LSF. It took ages to strip the inner insulation without causing any damage to the inner cores.
I must have made 1000s off over the years but this was near impossible to do without causing any damage.
Have I just been unlucky or have others noticed this problem over recent years ?
 21 January 2018 12:27 PM
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I have never had the pleasure of LSF SWA but LSF T&E is a pain as well.
 21 January 2018 11:55 PM
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Joined: 16 July 2011

Guess you must of been unlucky, its normally a bit of pee to strip with a good sharp blade
 22 January 2018 08:36 AM
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I've not had anything to do with low smoke and fume SWA as such, but in small wiring I have found considerable variation in the solutions offered for either 'LSF', and 'LSF 0H ' ('zero halogen') both either with or without 'fire retardant' and a variety of 'alphabet soup' approvals. In particular some "flexes" are surprisingly inflexible.
I can only assume that there is no clear winner for the alternate chemistry to replace PVC - rather like the replacements for filament lamps, it now becomes more important to know what exactly you have asked for.
And there have been some eye-rollingly odd things specified - one I saw recently was for LSF0H singles in PVC trunking. From my perspective this may meet the letter of the rules as written, but there is far more volume of PVC in the conduit and trunking to produce eye-watering black smoke, than there would have been from the jackets of the wires within. If such a thing existed then LSF 0H trunking with fire retardant would make more sense, with PVC wires inside. Or better, perhaps as a balst from the past mild steel
Anyway its no help to you, but my observation is that there seem to be several alternatives to the traditional PVC and PE, and some are easier to work than others,

regards Mike
 23 January 2018 07:16 AM
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LSOH/LSF insulation materials contain large amounts of mineral fillers to achieve the required flame retardence and to reduce the fumes. This results in the stiffness and often a white appearance when bent or scraped. Most of the plasticisers that could be used to improve the flexibility are basically oils that would add to the smoke and fume.
There are two viewpoints on cables in fire situations:
In Europe there is a moderate level of flame retardance and significant effort to reduce the toxicity of the products of combustion. 'It will burn, but the fumes are not to bad'.
In the US a very high level of flame retardance is used, often fluoropolymers, with very toxic fumes. 'We hope it won't burn, but if it does you have a problem'.
Which is better?

Best regards


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