Construction Product Regulation – Testing and Certification

As a designated Notified Body (No 2661) for the CPR System 1+ and System 3, we can test and classify cables for CPR, enabling manufacturers and distributors around the world to supply within the EU.

For over 45 years BASEC has been a global leader in the testing and certification of cables. We have recently invested heavily in new equipment to allow us to test to all the requirements of the CPR in respect of cables, providing a full service to manufacturers and traders.

What is CPR?

As of 1st July 2017 under the European Construction Products Regulation (CPR), it is now mandatory for cable manufacturers and suppliers to apply CE marking to any products covered by the harmonised European standard EN 50575. The CPR applies to all cables placed on the market for use in fixed installation in domestic, commercial and industrial premises and other civil engineering works anywhere in the European Union. It applies to power, communications and fibre optic cables irrespective of the place of manufacture and includes novel/unique cables and those which are not designed to any particular design standard. These tests, with a few exceptions need to be carried out by an independent Notified Body.

The Construction Products Regulation is solely concerned with reaction to fire and resistance to fire properties of these products, resulting in awarding classifications often known as “Euroclasses” to each product or family of products. The CPR regime for resistance to fire of cables is still under development at the present time.

The process for gaining CPR

  1. The manufacturer chooses the cable/ranges for compliance.
  2. The manufacturer chooses the intended class based on the regulation and market requirements.

System 1+ (Aca B1ca B2ca and Cca)

  1. Manufacturer approaches Notified Certification Body with product data package to support sample identification.

    Data required - cable design and material inventory / cable OD / for extended applications - cable parameters

  2. Notified Certification Body selects samples from stock production and undertakes Factory Production Control (FPC) assesment.

  3. Notified Test Laboratory tests samples and issues Classification Report.

  4. Notified Certification Body issues Certificate of Constancy of Performance.

  5. Manufacturer creates DoP and maintains for 10 years.

    Manufacturer applies for CE mark.

  6. Ongoing manufacturer’s FPC

    Notified Certification Body FPC surveillance

    Annual FCP fire testing by manufacturer

    Triennial testing by Notified Certification Body.

AVCP systems explained

System 1+ (Aca B1ca B2ca and Cca)

Categories Aca, B1ca, B2ca and Cca are subject to the requirement of AVCP System 1+.

This requires the manufacturer or supplier to use a Notified Product Certification Body for:

  • Initial inspection of plant and factory production control
  • Initial type testing
  • Issue of Classification Report and Certificate of Constancy of Performance
  • Surveillance, assessment and evaluation of factory production control, twice per year
  • Audit testing of samples

The manufacturer must also undertake internal FPC & routine audit testing.

This table shows the established classes and test methods for cable reaction to fire.
Class Heat of combustion EN ISO 1716 Heat release & smoke production EN 50399 Verticle flame proagation EN 60332-1-2 Smoke density EN 61034-2 Acidity/acid gas content EN 60754-2
Aca Yes
B1ca Yes Yes Yes Yes
B2ca Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cca Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dca Yes Yes Yes Yes
E2ca Yes
Fca Yes

System 3 (Class Dca & Eca)

  1. Manufacturer approaches Notified Test Laboratory with a product data package to support sample identification.

    Data required - cable design material inventory. Eca - cable OD. Dca - cable OD, and for extended application - cable parameters

  2. Manufacturer selects samples from stock production and sends to Notified Test Laboratory.

  3. Notified Test Laboratory tests samples and issues Classification Report.

  4. Manufacturer creates DoP and maintains for 10 years.

    Manufacturer applies for CE mark.

  5. Ongoing manufacturer’s FPC.

    No further testing required by Notified Laboratory unless the product changes.

AVCP systems explained

System 3 (Class Dca & Eca)

Categories Dca and Eca are subject to the requirement of AVCP System 3.

This requires the manufacturer or supplier to use a Notified Test Laboratory for:

  • Initial type testing
  • Issue of Classification Report

The manufacturer must also undertake internal FPC & routine audit testing.

This table shows the established classes and test methods for cable reaction to fire.
Class Heat of combustion EN ISO 1716 Heat release & smoke production EN 50399 Verticle flame proagation EN 60332-1-2 Smoke density EN 61034-2 Acidity/acid gas content EN 60754-2
Aca Yes
B1ca Yes Yes Yes Yes
B2ca Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cca Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dca Yes Yes Yes Yes
E2ca Yes
Fca Yes

System 4 (Class Fca)

  1. Manufacturer selects sample

  2. Manufacturer or Notified Test Laboratory tests sample.

  3. Manufacturer creates DoP and maintains for 10 years.

    Applies for CE mark.

  4. Ongoing manufacturer’s FPC

AVCP systems explained

System 4 (Class Fca)

Category Fca to AVCP System 4 has manufacturer duties only.

Manufacturers and suppliers are able to conduct their own tests and make their own classifications to class Fca.

This table shows the established classes and test methods for cable reaction to fire.
Class Heat of combustion EN ISO 1716 Heat release & smoke production EN 50399 Verticle flame proagation EN 60332-1-2 Smoke density EN 61034-2 Acidity/acid gas content EN 60754-2
Aca Yes
B1ca Yes Yes Yes Yes
B2ca Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cca Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dca Yes Yes Yes Yes
E2ca Yes
Fca Yes

To reduce the cost and complexity of the CPR requirements, it is possible in many cases to group cables into “families“ and assess them in accordance with EXAP (extended application) rules. BASEC will work with clients in utilising these systems to best effect. However EXAPs can not be applied to all cables.

BASEC maintains appropriate Notifications to European Directives covering cable products and we can provide procedural advice, perform assessments and prepare technical reports for manufacturers and importers of cable products. BASEC is also an active participant of the Group of Notified Bodies which provides further guidance to facilitate equivalent assessment for all members.

Under normal circumstances, distributors will pass on Declarations of Performance (DoP) provided to them by the original manufacturer.  Distributors supplying cable under their own brand name, using their own product descriptions / part numbers, can issue DoPs in their own name if they have obtained a Classification Report (and if necessary a Certificate of Constancy of Performance) in their own name. BASEC has additional application forms to initiate this process, which must be completed by both the distributor and the original manufacturer.

CPR tests

BS EN/ISO 1716 | Bs Eniso 1716
BS EN/ISO 1716

The gross heat of combustion is measured for each of the cable’s components.

Test Methods & Equipment:
Each component in the cable is fully combusted in an oxygen rich atmosphere and the total energy released by the material is measured to determine the cable’s gross heat of combustion (PCS)

The test is used for Class Aca only.

BS EN 60332-1-2 | Img 0059
BS EN 60332-1-2

A single length of cable is exposed to a 1kW flame and the total char length is measured after all combustion has ceased.

Test Methods & Equipment:
The cable is mounted vertically in the test chamber with the burner flame applied at 45°. The 1kW premixed propane and air gas flame is applied for a specified time period determined by the cable’s outside diameter. The total length of the char (H) is measured after all flaming has extinguished.

Test is used for Classes B1ca, B2ca, Cca, Dca, Eca & Fca.

BS EN 50399 | Basec Cpr Fire Test
BS EN 50399

An array of individually spaced cable or spaced bundles of cable are exposed to either a 30kW flame (Class B1ca) or 20.5kW flame (Classes B2ca, Cca, Dca). The flame spread, heat release, smoke production and droplet generation are measured.

Test Methods & Equipment:
The test facility is based on the EN/IEC 60332-3-10 apparatus, with the addition of heat release and smoke production measuring instrumentation.

The cable test array, determined by the cable’s outside diameter, is mounted on to a sample ladder and loaded in to the test chamber. The premixed propane and air burner flame is applied for 20 minutes, close to the lower end of the sample. For Class B1ca an additional non-combustible back board is mounted to the rear of the sample ladder.

The peak heat release (PHR) and total heat release (THR), fire growth rate index (FIGRA), the peak smoke production rate (SPR) and total smoke production (TSP), and the number and frequency of flaming drops (d) are recorded during the test. The flame spread (FS) is determined as the extent of char above the burner measured after the test has been completed.

Test is used for Classes B1ca, B2ca, Cca and Dca.

BS EN 61034-2 | Lab010
BS EN 61034-2

The reduction in light transmission gives a measure of smoke density generated during the combustion of cables.

Test Methods & Equipment:
Cables that achieve the highest performance of ‘s1’ in the EN 50399 test can, at the sponsor's request, undertake a supplementary 3m cube test in order to further differentiate the degree of the smoke production (s1a or s1b).   A cable array, determined by the cable’s outside diameter, is exposed to a specified alcohol/water fuel source in a 27m3 chamber with a circulating fan generating a homogeneous smoke mixture throughout the chamber. The smoke density is measured as a reduction in light transmission across the chamber.

Test is used for Classes B1ca, B2ca, Cca and Dca where applicable.

BS EN 60754-2 | Img 0197
BS EN 60754-2

The pH and conductivity of effluent gases from the combustion of the cable components are measured to indicate the degree of acidity and corrosivity of the cable under fire conditions.

Test Methods & Equipment:
Each non-metallic component in the cable is combusted in a tube furnace at a temperature greater than 935°C for 30 minutes with the effluent gases bubbled in de-ionised water.  The dissolved gases are analysed for the pH & conductivity and the weighted averages determined for the ‘a’ classification.

Test is used Classes B1ca, B2ca, Cca and Dca.

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