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TechTalk Design Advice:  NFPA 79 Standard Update: Where To Use AWM Cables
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TechTalk Design Advice: NFPA 79 Standard Update: Where To Use AWM Cables

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Revised NFPA 79 standard permits the use of certain AWM cables, many of which can be used for high-flex applications.

Revised NFPA 79 standard permits the use of certain AWM cables, many of which can be used for high-flex applications.

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  • 1. TECHTALK DESIGNADVICE SERIES YOUR CONTACTNFPA 79 STANDARD UPDATE: WHEN TOUSE AWM CABLES All industrial machines and equipment have special Don Nester requirements for their electrical Product manager, Chainflex® systems. In order to standardize continuous-flex cables these requirements and also keep DNester@igus.com up with any changes, the National Fire and Protection Agency developed the NFPA 79 – >> Subscribe to e-newsletter Electrical Standard for IndustrialMachinery. The standard provides guidance on how a machine’s >> Contacts in your locationelectrical system should be designed, as well as ways to keep machine (on-site within 24-48 hours)operators safe. >> Request catalogs / free samplesIf you are one of the many machine designers who need to follow theNFPA standard, you’re often left with limited options for applications >> myigusthat require continuous-flex cables. But, there’s good news: NFPA 79 >> myCataloghas been revised and the 2012 edition permits the use of certain AWMcables, many of which can be used for high-flex applications.An AWM cable is defined by Underwriters Laboratories® (UL) asappliance wire material. These wire types cover a wide range of cable igus Inc.constructions across many industries and applications. Many PO Box 14349continuous-flex cables are made in accordance with the UL AWMstandard and, during the past decade, the use of AWM cables has East Providence, RI 02914been a highly debated topic. The NFPA 79 2007 edition prohibited their P. 1-800-527-2747use, even though these types of cables have been used in the industry F. (401) 438-7270for many years. sales@igus.comAfter a number of proposals from the technical committee charged withdeveloping the standards, Section 12 of the NFPA 79 standard –“Conductors, Cables and Flexible Cables”, was revised. The addition of www.igus.comAWM cables to the standard provides a wider range for cable
  • 2. conductor cross-sections, the number of conductors, and cable constructions specifically designed forcontinuous flexing. For example, many of igus®’ Chainflex® continuous-flex cables now comply with allAWM requirements outlined in the NFPA 79 standard. The revision broadens the available options forcontinuous-flex cables and makes your job a little easier.The NFPA 79 standard outlines the requirements that AWMcables have to comply with. The following summarizes someof the main requirements. • The standard allows AWM cables when the cable has been identified for use with the approved equipment and is used in accordance to the manufacturer’s instructions. For example, many of igus®’ customers use Chainflex® cables because they are specifically designed for continuous-flex applications and many have the UL AWM mark. • The NFPA 79 standard defines some of the cable construction requirements for AWM cables, including the minimum conductor strand count, flame resistance and wall thickness. • The standard also requires the cable adhere to all the requirements of the respective UL AWM style page.If you are required to follow the NFPA 79 standard, Chainflex® continuous-flex cables with UL AWM area good choice. They not only meet all the requirements of the standard, but also deliver optimalperformance in demanding, flexing applications on all types of automated machinery.What do you think about the revised NFPA 79 standard? Do you think it has the potential to make yourjob easier? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts so e-mail me at dnester@igus.com.Useful linksSee igus® entire line of Chainflex® continuous-flex cablesChainflex® lifetime calculatorQuestions? E-mail the product expert. igus Inc. | 1-800-521-2747 | sales@igus.com | www.igus.com

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