Quality marks represent certifications of conformity and guarantee that the product is produced in accordance with applicable manufacturing standards. The mark is only granted after a strict approval process which includes a series of tests and inspections. The Body granting the use of the Mark also monitors the ongoing use of the mark and checks that the manufacturing standards are maintained over time, using its own inspectors and specialised laboratories. PM Plastic Materials pipes have been certified by all major European Certification Bodies. For example, the
PM Plastic Materials ICTA polypropylene pipes (FlexLub, FlexLub Color) are certified by the following European Certification Bodies:
IMQ – Istituto Marchio Qualità – Italy
Aenor – Ass. Espanola de Normalizacion y Certificacion – Spagna
Cebec – SGS Belgium – Belgium
D – UL Demko – Denmark
FI – SGS Fimko – Finland
N – Nemko – Norway
NF – LCIE Bureau Veritas – France
OVE – Austrian Electrotechnical Ass. – Austria
S – Intertek Semko – Sweden
SEV – Electrosuisse – Switzerland
VDE – VDE P. und Z. GmbH – Germany
EN Standards are internationally recognized standards governing the manufacturing and standardisation of mass-produced products. In particular,
EN 61386 indicates the requirements and tests applicable to pipes and fittings which are built to protect and install insulated wires and/or electrical wiring systems or telecommunication systems up to 1000V AC and/or up to 1500V DC.
This is the European Standard that establishes the tests and methods used to verify the behaviour of cables subjected to fire tests. In particular, it establishes the procedure which determines the content of halogen acid gasses in emissions generated during combustion. As far as fire is concerned, the damages caused by the direct action of fire are added to those caused by corrosive agents in combustion gases which reach the environments untouched by the fire. If the sheaths and cable insulations are made of PVC, in the event of a fire, these products release from 25% to 30% their weight in chlorine which, combined with the humidity in the air, forms hydrochloric acid which is deposited on all surfaces the smoke come into contact with and hence begins its corrosive action. Corrosion damage often exceeds the damage caused by the fire itself. Vice versa, polypropylene pipes – such as FlexCab, FlexLub, FlexLub Color, Flex HiSpeed, FlexSuperBlu, FLEXSuperBlu Color and FLEX SuperBlu Extra – do not produce harmful acids during a fire and significantly reduce the emission of toxic fumes, thus safeguarding the health of workers and the integrity of objects. For these reasons, the use of polypropylene pipes is recommended in all locations that host large numbers of people, such as offices, hotels, hospitals, schools, banks, entertainment locations, buildings of historic and artistic value, etc.
This is the International Standard that establishes the tests and methods used to assess the density of smoke generated by burning cables. The reference data is obtained by evaluating the amount of light that penetrates through the smoke.
The use of pre-cabled FLEX Cab pipes reduces installation times by 50%. Only one worker is needed to install them and the time consuming cable threading operations are eliminated, along with all related risks (damage to the wires, frictions, etc.).
A system realized with pre-cabled pipes costs 34% less compared to a system realized using the traditional method.
1000 mt of pliable pipe € 200
3000 mt of energy cable (1,5 sw mm) € 225
Cost of materials € 525
Time required to lay and thread 1000 meters, including travel time (hours) 43
Labour cost for laying and threading € 860
Total cost using empty pipes € 1195
Number of hours needed to lay the pipe + pull the cables in (trip to the working site included) 42
Labour cost per hour € 25
Total cost of labour for laying and threaclening € 1050
TOTAL COST € 1575
1000 mt of PM pre-wired with 3* 1,5 mm energy cables € 575
Cost of materials € 575
Number of hours needed to lay the pipe + pull the cables in (trip to the working site included) 21
Labour cost per hour € 22
Total cost of labour for laying and threaclening € 462
TOTAL COST € 1037
Savings guaranteed 34%
Comparison based on average European prices of materials and labour.
FLEX Cab can be used to realise all types of installations: conventional wall systems, on plasterboard walls, divider walls, in false ceilings, chased under the floorboards, buried in concrete or liquid cement.
The laying of pre-cabled pipes is very easy because wire weight makes the pipe very stable. There are just a few jobs to do before you can reap the full benefits of the speed and safety that pre-cabled pipes can give. Watch the FLEX Cab video in the “FLEX Cab” area which provides full instructions on how to install this system to top workmanship standards.
The form of distribution recommended by the various pre-cabled pipe standards is the “star” method, starting from the distribution box, connecting one pipe for every individual utility; this distribution will have a lower current load, lower electromagnetic fields and a simple and straightforward system. On the contrary, “cascade” type distribution is to be avoided as it is more disorganized and less secure.
Of course: thanks to the internal lubrication feature, you can easily thread other cables through pipes
Using the appropriate PM EASY unwinding tool which ensures smooth and easy unrolling of the pre-cabled pipes, whilst leaving the packaging intact on the roll that will be used in the future.
The typical pipe waste is, as for empty pipes, the minimum length used for connections: about 2 meters.
Does the Reference Standard foresee a relationship between the colour of the corrugated pipe and the type of cables it carries?
The standard does not specify anything but best manufacturing practice foresees the following:
– black and white for distribution and power lines;
– light blue: for intercoms;
– brown for emergency and alarm systems;
– green for telephone lines;
– purple for background music
If power and junction boxes are protected with the appropriate covers, the pipes are not “visible” at the worksite; moreover, as the cables are fairly small in diameter and have a very low copper content, they are not particularly attractive to thieves.
The standard foresees the classification of pipes according to 12 different indicators; the first 4 indicators are marked on the pipe and catalogued as seen below:
– 1st digit: resistance to compression (from 1 to 5)
– 2nd digit: impact resistance (from 1 to 5)
– 3rd digit: minimum installation temperature (from 1 to 5)
– 4th digit: maximum installation temperature (from 1 to 7)
– The compression test is performed using a dynamometer; during the test, the pipe is crushed by a 50 mm block of steel.
– The compressive force applied is measured in Newtons (1 kgf = 9.8 N); therefore, 750 N = about 75 kg, 1000 N = about 100 kg. The speed and absolute value of deformation (yield) are calculated and the relative deformation is then calculated as a % of the diameter.
– After terminating the tests, the pipe must maintain at least 80% of its internal diameter (flow gauge test); relative deformation should not exceed 25% for PVC and 50% for PP.
The impact resistance test is performed by dropping a hammer of variable weight on the sample piece (a piece of pipe 20 cm long).
The impact force is equal to the force generated by the weight of the hammer x the height from which it is dropped: 1 joule = 1 N x 1 meter.
In the case of typical tests on polypropylene pipes, a particularly high energy level of 6 joules is applied, equivalent to a weight of 600 g dropped from one meter in height; the test is made even strict as it is conducted at the minimum pipe operating temperature (-5°C or -15°C).
The diameter of a pipe which undergoes laboratory tests with a load of 750 Newtons on 5 cm can reduce by up to 50%. Once the load has been released, the diameter returns to its original value with a decrease of less than 10%.
The IP Code ( “Protection Rating”) consists of two digits (e.g. IP65) that define the degree of protection for the system in question. The term “system” refers to the coupling of pipes and fittings; the higher the figure, the higher the protection level. The first digit varies from 1 to 6 and defines the level of protection against solids (powder) The second is from 1 to 8 and defines the level of protection against liquids (water drops, splashing, immersion).
It is the lowest temperature to transport, store, install and use pipes. At temperatures no lower than the ones declared, pipes maintain their tested mechanical resistance to impact and compression.
What does “high temperature field” (maximum transport, installation and operating temperature) mean?
In contrast with low temperature field, it is the highest temperature to transport, store, install and use pipes, without subjecting them to mechanical stress.
Pipe compression resistance decreases proportionally with increasing temperature. For installations in hot places and/or climates, it is fundamental to choose pipes with adequate mechanical and thermal features (ICTAAM 3422 – ICHW 3343 – ICHWQ 3343 – ICTHX 4432). Polypropylene pipes are strictly recommended for their high mechanical and thermal resistance. In contrast, PVC pipes are not advised for their low thermal resistance, since they collapse over 60°C.
Unlike PVC pipes, polypropylene pipes are:
– 3 times more resistant to impact (6 joules at -5°C compared to 2 joules)
– resistant to low and high temperatures (from -15°C to +90°C)
– free from micro-perforations
– environmentally friendly: they are LSZH, so with very low emission of toxic fumes, and they contain no heavy (e.g. lead) or chlorinated metals.
These characteristics make corrugated polypropylene pipes ideal for creating any type of system in all possible conditions.
They are essential when realising concrete buried electrical systems, especially when castings undergo accelerated curing technologies using vibration systems.
Low Smoke Zero Halogen: when this acronym is used with reference to insulating and protection cables and pipes, it classifies the thermoplastic materials that emit a very low level of smoke and no halogens when exposed to high heat sources, such as a flame. Corrugated pipes in PVC are not LSZH: in the event of a fire, PVC pipes and LSZH cables release chlorine and hydrochloric acid, a toxic and highly irritating gas. Polypropylene insulating pipes and LSZH cables, in contrast, do not produce hazardous acids and significantly reduce the emission of toxic fumes. For these reasons, the use of LSZH polypropylene pipes is recommended in all locations frequented by large numbers of people, such as offices, hotels, hospitals, schools, banks, entertainment locations, buildings of historic and artistic value, etc.
Polypropylene pipes, unlike PVC pipes, have no micro-perforations due to the type of plastic polymer used and the typical thickness of the walls (thicker than PVC ones): for this feature alone, it is the only pipe guaranteed by PM for use in concrete buried systems.
Are polypropylene pipes (FLEX ICTA series) only recommended for concrete buried systems, or can they be used on chased systems?
Due to their self-recovery and micro-perforation free characteristics, the FLEX ICTA series pipes are mandatory when realising concrete buried systems. All the more so, they are also indicated when realising chased systems where the level of mechanical stress is lower.
No, pliable pipes must be chased, installed under plaster, floors, walls or ceilings, buried in concrete or liquid cement, on movable walls, or suspended ceilings. They can not be installed on outer surfaces. For indoor surfaces (mounting walls and ceilings), rigid pipes must be used wherever the exposed system has to meet eco-compatibility requirements or the building in which the system is installed is intended to accomodate a huge number of people, LSZH rigid pipes are recommended.
No, rigid pipes and accessories can be installed outside the wall, but only in places which are sheltered from direct exposure to sunlight.
No, these pipes should always be stored in warehouses protected from sunlight. It is however possible to store pallets of pipes which are intact and covered by the specific anti-UV protective sheet. This protective sheet must always be replaced to protect the coils or bundles of pipes after picking products from the storage pallets.
Yes, all packaging is made from 100% recyclable polyethylene.
All pipes, whether in Polypropylene or PVC, are recyclable. Packaging and leftover pipes should be taken to your local collection point to be sent to the plastic regeneration plant.