Fire LCA Cables

A novel Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) model has been defined for the investigation of the environmental impact of the choice of material in cable production. In one case polyolefin based material were used while in the other case PVC material were used. In both cases equivalent fire behaviour has been assumed and a fire model established based on existing fire statistics. This study represents the second full application of the Fire-LCA model.
Large scale experiments

Large-scale cable experiments have been conducted to provide fire emission data as input to the LCA model. Species measured include acute toxicants such as: CO, CO2, HCl, VOC (volatile organic compounds), and chronic toxicants such as PAH (polycyclic aromatic compounds), and chlorinated dibenzodioxins and furans. Full details of the experiments are provided in reference [1].

Four different End-of-Life scenarios have been selected for detailed study. The effect of the choice of cable life time and the level of secondary fires (i.e. cable fires where the cables are not the first item ignited) was also investigated. A comparison has been made between models with a cable life time of 30 years and one with a cable life time of 50 years. Similarly, the level of secondary fires has been varied between the worst case, based on an assumption that all large dwelling fires result in destruction of all the cable material in the house in the fire, and 10 % of this scenario.


Detailed results are presented for the energy use for the model and the emission of a number of key species to the air are presented for all scenarios. The results are presented to best allow comparison between the various scenarios for the same product but do also allow comparison between the products within each scenario.

An uncertainty analysis has also been performed to ensure that the conclusions are not prone to large uncertainty. The results of this analysis show that the model is stable and the species presented in detail are not affected to any great degree by changes in key parameters. This implies that the model is robust and the conclusions sound.

Full details of the project results can be found in SP Report 2001:22.

[1] V. Emanuelsson, P. Andersson, L. Rosell and M. Simonson, "Small and large scale fire experiments with electric cables under well-ventilated and vitiated conditions", submitted to Fire Technology 2002.

Related Information

Contact Persons

Petra Andersson

Phone: +46 10 516 56 21

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Phone 010-516 50 00, E-mail

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