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An Innovative Soft Skinned Fire Resistant Cable for Fire Safety Applications Manufactured Using Integrated Cold Gas Dynamic Spraying and Polymer Extrusion Technologies (Fire Shield)
Start date: Oct 1, 2008, End date: Sep 30, 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

There are 2.5 million reported fires, causing 20-25,000 deaths, 250-500,000 injuries and extensive environmental damage each year in the EU. The cost of fire damage to the EU is estimated at 100 billion Euros. Fire safety equipment such as fire alarms and emergency lighting is extremely effective at reducing the damage and cost associated with fires. Fire resistant cabling that transmits power and data are an essential part of fire safety systems. The global market for fire resistance cable is estimated at 3 billion Euros p.a., with Europe accounting for 1.4 billion Euros p.a. European SMEs are increasingly having to improve the fire resistance performance of their cables to ensure that they are able to achieve the specification of the Construction Products Directive (CPD). Current soft-skinned fire resistant cables consist of insulated copper wires with a metallic shield layer that is applied by wrapping metallised polymer films around the cables. As a result of this wrapping process, there is always a ‘slot’ that runs along the length of the cables where the metallised films are joined. These ‘slots’ are invariably the point of failure when the cables are subjected to fire. The proposed ‘Fire Shield’ project will develop an innovative flexible polymer processing industrial extrusion processing that will combine traditional extrusion technologies with the relatively new innovation of dynamic cold spraying to spray the shields directly on to the cables. This will enable the consortium partners to produce soft-skinned fire resistant cables with a solid shield layer whose fire performance greatly exceeding current data cables on the market. This will give our SME consortium global market leadership leading to sales in excess of 100 million Euros 5 years after the project ends and increase profits across the consortium by over 7 million Euros.
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