Acquired Electronics360

Wired Connectivity

The Nuts and Bolts of Low Smoke Zero Halogen Cabling

07 September 2017

Sponsored content

A number of high-profile fires over the past several decades have served to alert just how dangerous plastics can be when burned. In the King’s Cross fire in the late 1980s, for example, 32 people died in a London underground subway from the toxic fumes. That one incident prompted the U.K. to initiate more stringent standards to prevent halogen-related deaths, even though at that time the cable would not be as flame retardant as PVC jacketed cable.

In addition to fatal fires, the sheer volume of cable that exists today adds fuel to residential, commercial and industrial settings. In response, materials with a high resistance to fire were developed with little performance penalty. Low smoke zero halogen (LSZH) compounds not only deliver greater fire protection performance, they have been constantly evolving so that the number of applications and performance are increasing, while relative cost is beginning to decline.

Low smoke zero halogen cable insulation and jacket have no fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine or astatine, so they do not emit toxic or corrosive fumes and create minimal smoke when fire is present. LSZH cables feature a flame-resistant jacket that doesn't emit toxic fumes even if burned.

LSZH cables also feature:

  • Non-propagation of fire and flame
  • Less dense smoke emission
  • IEC standards compliance
  • Flame retardant

Given the absence of PVC, when burned, LSZH cable produces small amounts of light grey smoke and minute levels of hydrochloric acid (HCl), increasing the chance of escape during a fire. Sheath and conductor insulation of the cable can be made from polyethylene, containing little chlorine, so that HCl is not an issue.

To read more, visit

Powered by CR4, the Engineering Community

Discussion – 0 comments

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and Terms of Use.
Engineering Newsletter Signup
Get the Engineering360
Stay up to date on:
Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.
Weekly Newsletter
Get news, research, and analysis
on the Electronics industry in your
inbox every week - for FREE
Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter


Date Event Location
22-24 May 2018 Los Angeles, CA
04-07 Jun 2018 Boston, MA
06-08 Jun 2018 Los Angeles, CA
18-22 Jun 2018 Honolulu, Hawaii
12-16 Aug 2018 Vancouver, Canada
Find Free Electronics Datasheets