CEI - Comitato Elettrotecnico Italiano

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Is product performance necessary during fire exposure conditions?

The question pushes us to reflect on an essential aspect concerning the purpose of the component or the end product from a functional point of view.

If the component was involved in a fire ignition, to what extent it is able to withstand such an event? In this case, the total functionality of the product has to be guaranteed, i.e. it has to withstand to carry out the task for which it was designed during a fire.

For example, the performances offered by the product could be essential for the signalling of the fire or for the activation of a safety device, or to guarantee the accomplishment of a specific operation.

For the components manufacturers or end products or the electrotechnical products installer in potentially very different environments, it is essential to know the limits of functionality and / or performance of the product for each component.

With the increasing of the temperature, other important performances of the manufactured product could be reduced, for example due to mechanical stiffness (for example, mechanical release cursors, conductor fastenings). The thermal limits established by the designer can be entered in the product sheet or in the "warning for use" label.

In this case, we need to know in advance the chances are of malfunctioning of the component or end product, and we need to have carried out the tests simulating the real conditions (the scenario) of work.