The copper-clad Mineral Insulated cable, an alternative to traditional construction or polymeric methods, is one of the options when it comes to the protection of critical electrical systems in buildings.
Mineral insulated technology
Mineral insulated cable is created using only inorganic elements, including copper and magnesium oxide. These two materials give MI cable distinct advantages when used in building construction.
- Copper: This waterproof element is also resistive to ultraviolet light and many other corrosive elements, meaning it will not degrade over time or require replacement.
- Magnesium Oxide: This mineral is ideal for electrical insulation as it will resist oxidation and radiation and will remain stable even under high temperatures. The mineral filling also protects the wires from caustic substances like oil, solvents or water.
These elements are then clad in a metal outer sheath, making it extremely resistant to harsh environments, or events like falling concrete. This organic construction is an environmentally-friendly option and does not burn, produce smoke or contribute to ongoing fire emergencies.
While the benefits of inorganic construction speak for themselves, there are additional benefits when utilizing MI cable to protect electrical circuits.
- Free Air Rating: The construction of MI wiring cables thermally insulates the conductor, allowing them to operate at higher ampacities than conventional wiring as allowed by Code.
- Space Saving: Because of their superior free air rating, MI cables can push more power through a smaller area, saving space in building design.
- Easy installation: MI cable is unlikely to fail due to sensitive installation requirements. If installation instructions are followed closely, fire rating will be met every time.
- Building Retrofits: The free air rating makes this cable ideal for building retrofits, especially those with limited space for upgrades.
Additionally, MI cables are the only cables that meet the 2-hour vertical and horizontal UL fire test with no limitations.
Where does mineral insulated technology work?
Mineral insulated cable was designed with critical and essential circuit protection in mind. This makes it an ideal solution for protection in buildings such as high-rises, subways, tunnels, airports, healthcare facilities and industrial plants.
MI cable is also ideal for: hospitals, car parks, hotels, petrochemical plants, shopping complexes.
Mineral insulated wiring vs polymeric alternatives
During a fire emergency, it’s critical to reduce the contribution of smoke, flames or fire. However, some fire protection systems, unlike nVent PYROTENAX mineral insulated cable, can actually give off smoke and combustible gasses under fire conditions.
Some other cables are designed using organic materials for insulation. While these fire proof cables can meet code and are preferred by some contractors, there are also problems that can arise during a fire emergency.
Problems with polymeric design
If these cables are installed in an enclosed environment (such as conduit), they may have insufficient oxygen to allow the burning off of volatile gas.
These gases can attack the standard copper in these cables, causing it to lose most of its strength which can lead to damage and breakage.
nVent PYROTENAX MI cables have a full 30-year warranty. The standard warranty for other cables is usually only up to two years.
Mineral insulated wiring for electrical modernization
Maintaining new modernization standards is a priority for many designers, which often means a variety of cables for phone lines, online systems, data cables, WiFi and more.
nVent PYROTENAX MI cables minimize the power cable size, so that continued modernization of a building can be achieved. Fire-rated wiring achieves more cable ampacity in a small space, while achieving the highest level of required protection from the NFPA.
Less maintenance, more performance
If a building has standard wiring, they are often attached to a mechanical support system that will need to be periodically tightened down and consumes valuable space.
nVent’s fire-rated wiring cables require little to no maintenance after installation, saving you space, time and money.
Though not supplying power to life saving equipment, nVent PYROTENAX 2-hour fire-rated cable can bring peace of mind to building owners that lifesaving equipment will continue to operate during an emergency.
With a 30-year warranty included, your building will have an approved solution with a long-life span.