Testing and certification of cables and cords at the VDE Institute according to international standards
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2024-02-07 Testing + Certification

Cables and cords – Testing and Certification at the VDE Institute

In electrical engineering, cables and cords are crucially important products for power distribution and energy use. Due to their important function, special attention must be paid to safety. If they are damaged, a fire hazard can be produced. The VDE Institute tests and certifies cables and cords for energy, signal and data transmission, therefore making a significant contribution to the required safety and Quality.

Andreas Ostheimer
Whether it's data, medium or high voltage cables - The VDE Institute tests and certifies

With the testing and certification of cables and wires from insulating hoses and tapes to body protection and voltage testers, our special laboratory covers a range of tests that is highly recognized worldwide. Testing is carried out in accordance with directive requirements based on national and international harmonized standards. In addition, we offer testing and support during the development phase. We are also a respected authority in long-term research on insulating materials. Since the creation of the HAR agreement in 1974, we have been THE German licensing office.

Tour of VDE cable and cords laboratory

Data Cable - Requirements, Technical Assessment and Certification

As IT networks become more important in everyday life, network security and reliability are also becoming increasingly important. The prerequisite for a reliable network is the perfect quality of all components. This is ensured by the VDE Institute with the independent assessment of data cables and connectors as well as other passive network components.

On the one hand, the demand on data networks lies in the transmission of signals or data; on the other hand, operating conditions often pose an additional challenge, especially in an industrial environment. In addition to the electrical transmission properties, the assessment of the characteristics by the VDE also includes mechanical parameters, endurance tests and resistance to the many different environmental influences, such as temperature or chemicals, and even fire tests.

In connection with broadband expansion, the demand for fiber optic cables is growing. The VDE Institute also offers comprehensive product reviews and certifications.

The VDE Institute is accredited by the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) for testing and certification according to common national and international standards for data cables.

The knowledge of standards that our employees posses, who actively support the development of standardization and development with their know-how, continues to offer a great advantage to our customers.

High frequency measuring technology for data cables

To measure the high-frequency transmission behavior of symmetrical data cables, the VDE Institute uses state-of-the-art high-frequency measurement technology based on the Balunless method according to IEC/TR 61156-1-2. After the high-frequency transmission characteristics by the VDE Institute are tested and pass the test, the client (e.g. manufacturer or dealer) receives the special certificate "HF tested".

VDE TESTLAB for fire behavior

The state-of-the-art test center for the flammability of cables and wires of the VDE Institute meets the high demand for fire tests by the industry.

With the laboratory, the VDE Institute covers both the CPR - i.e. the testing of all cables laid in buildings - and the testing of motor vehicle cables and railway lines as well as many other areas of application. In addition to the testing of halogen-free products, the testing of halogen-containing cables and lines can also be carried out thanks to highly effective exhaust gas cleaning. Another key focus of the audit is the detection of toxic gases that can be produced during the burning of cables and lines.

When constructing the fire test center, the VDE Institute has set the highest standards of safety and environmental protection. Possible pollutants are prevented from being released into the environment due to exhaust gas purification.

Our range of services includes, among other things: 

  • Data cable flammability according to DIN EN 50173 or IEC 11801
  • Fire tests on bunched cables according to EN 50399 (as part of the CPR) and according to VDE and IEC standards, e.g. IEC/EN 60332-3-21 to 25 or VDE 0472-804 
  • Individual fire tests according to EN 60332 (including automotive tests according to ISO 6722)
  • Insulation integrity test according to EN 50200 and EN 50362 as well as functional integrity according to IEC 60331
  • Measuring smoke density according to EN 61034 and EN 50399
  • Measuring the content of poisonous gases, e.g. halogen hydracids or gas acidity, according to EN 60754-1/-2
  • Measuring the freedom from halogen and toxicity index according to various standards
  • Tests done on busbar trunking systems and plastic pipes
  • Tests on automotive wires (UN ECE-R118) and railway lines

Tour of VDE TESTLAB for Fire Behavior

Testing of cables and wires according to the Construction Products Regulation (CPR)

Directive (EU) no. 305/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council for establishing harmonized conditions for the marketing of construction products requires manufacturers of such products to deliver a declaration of performance to place them on the market. Here, the performance of the products has to be stated with regard to certain product characteristics and based on relevant harmonized technical specifications.

These features are listed in the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) and relate to, e.g. mechanical strength, fire protection, hygiene, health and environmental protection. In addition to this multitude of mechanical and electrical tests, verifying fire behavior plays a decisive role in the design as well as in the approval and application of cables and wires. Permanently installed cables and wires in buildings are also affected by the regulations of the CPR. In the case of cables and lines, performance is assessed with regard to fire behavior, i.e. the formation and spread of a fire, as well as emissions in the event of a fire.

The procedure for assessing performance is set out in Annex V of the CPR. Out of the five rating systems described therein, EN 50575 once again specifies which system must be used for which fire class. Our fire testing center has state-of-the-art testing facilities in the field of fire testing and smoke density measurement. The latter test is especially important, since it relates to saving human lives in case of fire and a positive confirmation is therefore of the utmost importance.

VDE Institute: Notified body according to CPR

The VDE Institute is designated as Notified Body for the Construction Products Regulation and can carry out all tests and certifications according to the CPR. In addition, there are also all the services according to System 1+. The post-testing documentation provided by us, the Notified Body, includes a test report, a classification report in accordance with EN 13501-6 and a certificate for products according to System 1+. We offer these services both nationally and internationally. The manufacturer then creates their declaration of performance based on these documents. The CE marking is affixed to the construction products for which the manufacturer has created a declaration of performance.

Mounting systems for cables and wires

Elektrokästen für die Elektro- und Datenverkabelung vor Ort
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The installation of low-voltage systems, broadband expansion, electromobility or the energy transition require flexible and extensive electrical installation. Cable management systems with their diverse products make an important contribution to efficient cable laying and protect sensitive cabling.
Whether conduit system, trunking system, cable carrier system, cable tie or cable cleat, made of insulating material or metal, there is a suitable system for every application need.

Our range of services covers the following systems:

Guiding systems IEC/EN 62275, EN 61914, EN 62549, EN 50520
Cable carrier systems IEC/EN 61537
Conduit systems for IEC/EN 61386-21 to IEC/EN 61386-25
Trunking systems EN 50085-2-1 to EN 50085-2-4

Tests according to customer specifications are possible. In addition to spot testing, standards conformance testing and certification, we are also happy to assist with conformance testing during the development process. In addition, we offer the possibility of testing the manufacturer's laboratories and material testing.

Electrical tapes made of various materials are needed to effectively protect electrical connection points from moisture penetration and to produce high-quality electrical insulation. In order to determine safety and usability here as well, we test backing materials such as plastic film, woven fabric and non-woven fiber, as well as thermoplastic, thermosetting or cross-linked adhesives.

Our range includes the following standards:

  • EN 60454-3-1
  • EN 60454-3-2
  • EN 60454-3-6
  • EN 60454-3-12

Tools for live working

Elektrotechniker bei der Arbeit in einer Schalttafel mit Sicherungen. Installation und Anschluss von elektrischen Geräten
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Live working, installing, maintaining and repairing our power supply systems and electrical equipment requires not only safe cables, wires, components and devices, but also safe tools, equipment and protective devices.

In addition to the tests for the award of the VDE mark or VDE GS mark, we also offer tests for information purposes.
Here, not only electrical properties are tested, but also, for example, mechanical and thermal properties.

The tests on the following products are part of our portfolio:

  • Hand tools for use up to 1000 V AC and 1500 V DC according to DIN EN IEC 60900
  • Single-pole phase testers up to 250 V AC according to DIN VDE 0680-6
  • Insulating sheathing, shaped covers and clips for work on electrically energized systems up to 1000 V according to DIN VDE 0680-1
  • Insulating matting with a maximum working voltage up to 36 kV AC / 54 kV DC according to DIN EN 61111
  • Insulating blankets with a maximum working voltage up to 36 kV AC / 54 kV DC according to DIN EN 61112

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