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Your distribution source for Belden Cable, Alpha Wire, Southwire Cable and equals
Your distribution source for Belden Cable, Alpha Wire, Southwire Cable and equals

Plenum vs Low Smoke Zero Halogen Cable: What's the Difference?

The last two weeks, we've posted blogs on low smoke zero halogen cables and plenum cables.  But now lets take a closer look the difference between them and the appropriate situations to use each cable.

Plenum Cables
Plenum cables are designed for use in plenum spaces, which are areas where air is circulated for heating and cooling purposes. To meet fire safety requirements, plenum cables must be made from materials that produce limited amounts of toxic smoke when exposed to flame. This helps prevent smoke inhalation in case of a fire, making plenum cables ideal for indoor applications where air circulation is necessary.

Plenum cables are usually made with a jacket composed of Teflon or other non-flammable material and typically have an outer sheath made from PVC or composite plastic material. Because they are often used in areas where people work, plenum cables may also contain additional insulation to protect workers from electrocution hazards or other potential dangers.

Low Smoke Zero Halogen Cables
Low smoke zero halogen (LSZH) cables are similar to plenum cables, but they offer even more fire safety protection. LSZH cables are designed specifically to emit lower levels of hazardous gases when exposed to flame than standard PVC or rubber-insulated cabling does. This makes LSZH cables particularly suitable for use in public places such as schools, hospitals, and office buildings, as well as locations where large numbers of people gather such as arenas and airports. Like plenum cables, LSZH cables may also contain additional insulation layers to help protect workers from shock hazards or other potential dangers posed by electrical wiring.

When it comes to choosing the right cable for your project, there are many factors to consider—including environmental toxicity, cost effectiveness, and installation difficulty. Plenum and low smoke zero halogen (LSZH) cables both offer excellent fire safety protection while remaining relatively affordable options; however, LSZH cables provide even greater safety benefits due to their lower levels of hazardous gas emissions when exposed to flame. Ultimately it comes down to your specific application requirements; no matter what type of cable you choose though, make sure it meets all relevant building codes and industry standards.

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