FRE 2-Hour Fire-Rated Conduit System

Driven by devastating incidents of fire and failure of critical life safety circuits, engineers are obligated to ensure commercial and residential buildings are well-protected in the event of an emergency.

Whatever the purpose of the building, fire protection systems are becoming increasingly complex. Indeed, fire protection has progressed significantly in terms of safety circuits and other building systems, such as fire alarm systems and fire separations. It is the responsibility of building professionals to equip buildings and ensure systems can function safely.

Fire-rated conduit systems are designed to maintain circuit integrity under extreme temperature conditions. With fire-rated cabling, critical response systems - fire pumps, elevators, smoke control, and fire alarm systems - will not fail when an emergency strikes.

In North America, fire testing for electrical cables is the same as other fire-rated products, such as doors. The difference is that while doors are judged on their ability to slow the spread of a fire, cables are judged on their ability to operate while being exposed to high temperatures.

To qualify as a 2-hour fire-rated cable, the cabling must pass the UL 2196 certification. The test involves mounting the cable on a wall and exposing it to a controlled fire where temperatures reach 1850°F for 2 hours. To pass, the cable must maintain circuit integrity and continue to operate electrically throughout.

The two-hour window allows sufficient time for building occupants to evacuate while providing power for critical equipment and communication systems. Typically, fire-rated conduit systems are used in buildings where critical circuits are needed to aid occupants’ safe evacuation. This includes manufacturing, commercial and industrial environments as well as schools, hotels, airports, arenas, and tunnels. Additionally, fire-rated conduit systems are required where occupant mobility is limited, such as healthcare facilities and hospitals.

It is worth noting that fire is not the only concern for public buildings like rail infrastructure, airports, shopping centers. With the added threat of terrorist actions, first responders need to rely on robust conduit systems to protect the operation of critical circuits.

When it comes to protecting critical circuits, one should never settle for anything but the best. As the leading manufacturer of fiberglass products since 1958, FRE Composites has developed BreathSaver® XW, a 2-hour fire-rated conduit system that protects critical circuits even in high temperatures.

BreathSaver XW: 2 Hour Rated Conduit

The BreathSaver® XW Fiberglass Conduit System is a 2-hour fire-rated conduit that holds its own in extreme environments. Featuring a high temperature rating of up to 1,850°F, this nonmetallic conduit is the leading choice for fireproof electrical conduit.

Using a phenolic resin-based matrix, the BreathSaver® XW provides transit, utilities, and industry with a rigid and nonmetallic conduit system suitable for high-temperature installation. The BreathSaver® XW meets the most stringent industry requirements - most notably, it is the only fiberglass conduit system to be 2-hour certified under UL 2196 both for vertical and horizontal installations.

Phenolic conduit offers unmatched performance in flame resistance, smoke development and toxicity emission - characteristics are far superior to all other types of rigid nonmetallic conduit, especially PVC.

Epoxy fiberglass and phenolic fiberglass conduit bear some similarities, but the difference between them is the temperature range. While epoxies have an operating temperature up to 230°F, the phenolic BreathSaver® XW can be exposed to temperatures up to 1,850°F for two hours without harming the integrity of the circuit.

Alongside the UL2196 certification, BreathSaver® XW also meets the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 130) & NFPA 502.

BreathSaver® XW features:

  • The only UL 2196 certified system for 2-hours both vertically and horizontally (FHIT 25C)
  • Suitable for Physical Damage Locations (NEC - Class 1 Division 2)
  • A complete line of fittings and adaptors for easy interconnection of different material types.
  • No threading or masking of joint required.
  • Bell and spigot joint for fast installation.
  • Available in ¾" IPS (21mm) to 1.5" IPS (41mm) and 2" ID (51mm) to 6" ID (152mm) dimensions

BreathSaver® XW advantages:

  • Highest cable fire protection in the industry
  • Lightweight: 56lbs (26Kg) for a 20’ conduit vs. RGS at 109lbs (49Kg) for a 10’ conduit
  • Nonmetallic material will not rust or corrode
  • Emits no toxic halogen
  • Non-Conductive
  • Lower coefficient of thermal expansion than steel
  • Easy to install

UL 2196 2 Hours Fire Certification

The integrity of cabling in a building during a fire or catastrophic event is critical to safety and emergency response. Withstanding extreme temperatures for at least two hours gives critical equipment (e.g. smoke control or elevator recall) enough time to operate safely.

To qualify as a 2-hour fire-rated cable, the cabling must pass UL 2196 (ULC S139 in Canada) certification. The standard is designed to evaluate the performance of electrical circuit protective systems in the event of a severe fire.

The UL 2196 test involves exposing the cable to temperatures up to 1850°F for two hours before withstanding the mechanical shock of a fire hose stream. Throughout the test, the circuits are monitored and must continue to function. UL Standard 2196 requires 5 out of 5 system tests to pass.

The certification is highly desirable in commercial and residential buildings such as hospitals, tunnels, schools, airports, high-rise buildings, and more.

FRE Composites has developed a cost-effective solution that delivers high performance while being exposed to extreme temperatures, making it UL 2196 certified. In the event of an emergency, BreathSaver® XW protects critical equipment and evacuation systems and allows them to perform - ensuring the safety of building occupants.

UL 2516

UL2516 is a safety identification for cables with certain critical qualities. The identification declares that the cabling is qualified to meet the corresponding safety requirement.

UL2516 can be used in combination with other safety regulations, such as CSA, VDE, CCC, CE, etc. BreathSaver® XW is the only certified product under UL’s 2516 both vertically and horizontally.

Phenolic 2-Hour Fire-Rated Conduit System

FRE Composites Phenolic product line consists of conduits, fittings, conduit bodies and adaptors. Using a phenolic resin-based matrix, the conduit system is suitable for high-temperature installations and is corrosion and flame resistant.

BreathSaver® XW has the highest cable fire protection in the industry and meets the most stringent safety requirements. It is the only fiberglass conduit system to offer UL Certified 2-hour fire-rated protection for vertical and horizontal installations.

FRE Composites has been designing, developing and producing the best fiberglass products in the business since 1958. Our team has engineered conduit installations in North America, South America, the Far East, South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Get in touch with us today to find the solution to your project.