Plenum Cables vs. LSZH Cables

Demand for Plenum Cables and LSZH Cables has increased in recent years and both are designed to mitigate accidental fires as a measure of fire safety. But what are the differences between these materials? In this post, we review what makes them different and show a comparison with other cable materials, knowing the differences can help you design your system. Read on!

Plenum Cables

First, let’s start with plenum cables which are also referred to as CMP (Communications Plenum) cables. Plenum cables are designed for use in plenum spaces which is an enclosed area through which environmental air is transported like an air conditioning duct, an air routing drop ceiling, or raised floor. It is constructed to restrict flame propagation to no more than five feet and produce a very small amount of smoke during a fire. In addition, it adopts materials that self-extinguish more easily. As a cable with good performance, it is usually more expensive than other cable types. Below are examples of plenum cables each carried by MISUMI.

LSZH Cables

Next, LSZH cables, LSZH stands for low smoke zero halogen. These cables are constructed with jacket material free from halogenic materials such as chlorine and fluorine. Because these chemicals are toxic when they are burned, they can cause serious harm or even death to humans. When burned, LSZH cables produce very little smoke and do not produce the toxic halogenic gasses previously mentioned.  LSZH cables are cheaper than plenum (CMP) cables and are widely used due to their security properties. Below are examples of LSZH cables available thru MISUMI.

Comparison of Normal PVC cable, Plenum cable, and LSZH cable

Regarding Flame Retardant and Self-Extinguish features, Plenum cables are slightly better than LSZH cables. There are also halogen-free Plenum cables, but basically, LSZH cables are superior when it comes to human safety. The table below shares a snapshot of the differences of each cable material.

FeaturesNormal PVC cablePlenum cableLSZH cable
Flame RetardantAVERAGEVERY GOODGOOD
Self-ExtinguishPOORVERY GOODGOOD
HalogenContainsContainsDoes not contain
CostReasonableVery ExpensiveExpensive
Table 1: Feature Comparison of PVC, Plenum, and LSZH

When designing your system, considering the level of fire risk can help determine which cable material to use. Be sure to check out the variety of other cables MISUMI offers at this link.

Additionally, if you think that making your own cable assemblies involves messy soldering, let MISUMI help take the trouble and stress out of the picture. With our expertise in cable and cable assemblies, a wide range of product offerings, and no minimum order quantities, MISUMI can help you solve your cable needs. Email the team at electrical@misumiusa.com, we’re ready to help!

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