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What Is Low Smoke Zero Halogen?

By Mal Baxter
Updated May 17, 2024
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Low smoke zero halogen (LSZH or LSOH) describes a type of cable jacketing associated with wiring and fiber-optic network systems. Comprising the outer layer of coating that protects wires and fiber-optic lines, this material has come into preference because of its safety characteristics. Where other network cables may be insulated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene, or thermoplastic urethane (TPU), low smoke zero halogen has certain advantages under extreme conditions. Under direct heat or flame, traditional materials may emit toxic chemicals, such as hydrogen chloride, which becomes hydrochloric acid in contact with water. LSZH, on the other hand, does not emit such toxins, and so is often used in areas with low ventilation or much human activity.

Halogens are represented by potentially toxic elements that include fluorine, chlorine, and iodine. Often found in aircraft, construction, and rail applications, halogen-free, or low smoke zero halogen type cables have gained popularity under government safety regulations for halogen-based technologies. Adoption of halogen-free legislation has motivated electronics manufacturers to ensure compliance using this technology. Lighter and more environmentally friendly, low smoke zero halogen products help preserve green practices. The material also allows more space-efficient network configurations because of its smaller size.

Computer technology is commonly engineered with flame-resistant substances like low smoke zero halogen. Many computers contain up to 27 potentially dangerous metals. Providing material for shielded and coaxial cable, low smoke zero halogen is also found in other cable types, like multicore. This coating is made from polypropylene, which is very flame resistant and emits very little smoke. The absence of toxic gases makes this type of jacketing an attractive choice for engineers and technicians.

In order to protect people and equipment, architects and network engineers design their systems specifying these materials for installations. Freedom from emissions of gases and corrosive acid makes this type of cabling a popular choice for low-ventilated areas and heavily trafficked areas. These might include schools, shopping malls, or hospitals. Different types of low smoke zero halogen cabling provide different characteristics, such as operating voltage and temperature ranges. As with other types, differences in flexibility and wet electrical values describe this cable, along with conventional factors such as conductor and diameter characteristics.

Low smoke zero halogen does not ignite. It is more easily disposed of than conventional cabling and more readily falls within regulatory compliance. This material also accommodates most standard types of cable connection, patching, and transmission media, whether electrical, electronic, or digital. It's a jacket that not only protects its medium, but equipment and people too.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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