Monday, February 7, 2011

Circuit Integrity or CI Cable

The invention of CI (circuit integrity) cable has given fire alarm technicians an easy alternative to the standard MI (mineral insulated) cable.

Previously, in order to achieve the 2 hour fire rating fire alarm installers have been forced to utilize the MI cable which is copper conductors with a magnesium oxide insulation covered by a copper sheath.  Due to the MI (mineral insulated) cable's difficult installation characteristics it is typically used for emergency power circuit feeds for fire pumps and emergency generators.  However, an alternative to MI cable is now available.

CI (circuit integrity) cable is typically soft jacked with solid conductors which is also listed for use in fire alarm and voice communication systems.  The CI cable's soft jacket changes state when it is exposed to high temperatures, creating a fire resistant insulator.  However, until the CI cable's jacket is subjected to the high temperatures of a fire the cable is as flexible as your standard cable (FPLR, FPLP, etc.).  These characteristics make it as easy to install as any other cable.  Your technicians can pull it through standard raceways and conduits as well as install it without any special tools or training.  Be aware prices are not cheap!

Find out how and why CI and MI cables where demanded.