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Dual Fire Barrier, fibre optic communications cable increases standards

Cable manufacturer Tratos has achieved product approval from Italy’s principal certification body, IMQ*, for its new Tratos Dual Fire Barrier, fibre optic communications cable. 

The small, compact, lightweight cable, meets several exacting industry standards and has been designed specifically for underground and metro systems, and London Crossrail. With its ease of installation the cable, with ZHLS (Zero Halogen Low Smoke) sheathing, was tested in February and is one of the first products to have achieved the requirements of LU1-085, BS EN 187000:1994 and IEC 60794-1-2.  
Tratos has manufactured cables for Rail and Mass Transit applications for the past ten years.  Designing innovative, fire resistant products for high speed applications, Tratos is often called upon to develop products that meet high quality industry as well as specific client specifications. 
In testing the Tratos Dual Fire Barrier cable achieved notable results, in the crush strength test – achieving a lower than required increased attenuation maximum; the smoke density/emission test - recording a minimum value that was significantly lower than required and the degree of acidity (ph and conductivity) test, achieving a minimum level lower than required.
Tratos specialises in the production of signalling, power, control and telecommunications cables for the railway sector. It aims to bring added value to all its products – providing its customers - some of the largest rail sector companies in Europe – with technological innovation and innovative cable designs.
A supplier to Ferrovie Dello Stato, Alstom, Bombadier, Ansaldo Breda and Hitachi solutions, Tratos has DVE, Lloyds Register, IMQ, PT and LUL approval.
Last year the company was awarded a framework contract worth up to three million euros to supply railway signalling and power cables for Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI). Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) is responsible for Italy’s track infrastructure, stations and installations. RFI also manages the investment in upgrading of railway lines (High Speed and Conventional) and associated technological development.
The company has been working with RFI for more than 40 years and has supplied cable for High Speed lines. In this instance, the combination of Tratos’ recognised approvals to key standards and its high performance across all five UK and Italian factories were critical to the contract’s award.
In addition, the cable’s hard-surface, high resistance and ultra-flexibility - built to withstand abrasion and high-stress levels – makes it one of the strongest in the market and ideal for this application.  The special 3 kV cable, which will be supplied over the next five years, also offers a generous bending radius for easier installation.
The company’s structural expansion continues in the UK with its Knowsley plant, completed late last year, increasing four-fold.  An additional £4m will facilitate new machines to speed up and increase capacity for the UK’s second largest cable manufacturer by September this year. Meanwhile its Italian factory in Pieve, Tuscany, is to receive an additional £6m investment to fund new machines and infrastructure. 
Maurizio Bragagni, CEO of Tratos UK said:  “The level of investment we’ve dedicated to our manufacturing facilities is a clear sign of our future commitment to remaining innovative and at the forefront of our industry.  Our customers are at the heart of our business and we now sell to around 50 countries worldwide.”
This year, the company which employs more than 300 people in five factories in Italy and the UK, celebrates 50 years of designing and developing electrical, electronic and fibre optic cable solutions.
*IMQ is a European leader in conformity assessments and laboratory tests for the electrical, electronic, gas and energy industries. 

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