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Frank H. Rocchio, H.R. Stewart, and Donald A.


The Okonite Company

rom the engineers perspective, the speci- ther into the age of the global economy. No
fication, selection, testing, application, longer can engineering firms in their respective
and installation of wire and cable is be- countries rely on their domestic standards for the
coming more complicated as we move fur- application and installation of wire and cable on
export or offshore projects. It is now necessary for
Frank H. Rocchio is with The Okonite Company of cable engineers to have a working knowledge of in-
Ramsey, New Jersey; H.R. Stewart is with HRS Con- ternational standards so they can specify the proper
sulting of Houston, Texas; and Donald A. Voltz is with cable for installation across the globe. Herein lies
Mustang Engineering of Houston, Texas. Rocchio is a the difficulty that most of the cable engineers
Member, Stewart is a Life Member, and Voltz is a Senior face the unfamiliarity with international standards.
Member of the IEEE. This article appeared in its origi- When facing an export or offshore project, the
nal form at the 1999 Petroleum and Chemical Industry engineer must investigate numerous country and
Conference. international standards in order to prepare the

14 IEEE Industry Applications Magazine January/February 2001 1077-2618/01/$10.002001 IEEE

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proper specifications for the wire and cable re-
quired. For instance, in continental Europe, can There is one thing for certain, no
the engineer use a harmonized (HAR) European
Union (EU), the European Committee for Electro-
matter what type of standard is used to
technical Standardization (CENELEC) [16], or In- specify the cable, it will conduct
ternational Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) electrical current.
standard, such as ones listed below?
HD-21/PVC Insulated Wire and Cable.
IEC 60245-1 (HD-22)Rubber Insulated
Cables of Rated Voltages Up to and Includ-
ing 450/750 V. between the IEC standard and the corresponding
IEC 60502-1Cables for Rated Voltages of national or regional standard will be clearly indi-
1 kV and 3 kV. cated in the national or regional standard.
IEC 60502-2Cables for Rated Voltages In effect, each country can add its national rules
from 6 kV up to 30 kV. to the basic standard via the harmonized version of
Or is necessary to specify a certain countrys stan- the standard in the European Norm (EN) format
dard of specification, such as, VDE for Germany, that is the same, word for word, in all European
CEBEC for Belgium, UNE for Spain, BS for the countries.
United Kingdom, etc.? The United States is a signatory to IEC stan-
This is also applicable for other parts of the dards through the U.S. National Committee of the
world. In Asia, Africa, Canada, Latin and South International Electrotechnical Commission, ad-
America, and the Middle East does the cable engi- ministered by the American National Standards
neer use IEC standards, U.S. national standards Institute. The national standards for the United
[the Association of Edison Illuminating Com- States are the National Electrical Code (NEC) on
panies (AEIC), American Society for Testing and land and the Code of Federal Regulations 46CFR
Materials (ASTM), National Electrical Manufac- (shipping) offshore. The U.S. national standards
turers Association (NEMA), Insulated Cable Engi- are developed from and reference the voluntary
neers Association (ICEA), and Underwriters standards of AEIC, ASTM, NEMA, ICEA, IEEE,
Laboratories (UL)], the respective countrys stan- and UL.
dards, or a combination of all? We cannot provide IEC standards are frequently referenced as bid
these answers because of their complexity, but we specification documents outside the United States.
intend to familiarize the user with a comparison The IEC standards serve as a basic start to fur-
between U.S. national and IEC standards. There is nish approved insulated conductors outside the
one thing for certain, no matter what type of stan- usual domestic customer base. The IEC collabo-
dard is used to specify the cable, it will conduct rates closely with the International Organization
electrical current. for Standardization (ISO), which generates the
The IEC is a worldwide organization for stan- rules on complete formal acceptance of products
dardization comprising national committees. The that are complex and would include the following
object of the IEC is to promote international coop- steps for Europe:
eration on all questions concerning standardiza- 1. Contract with a third-party organization
tion in the electrical and electronic fields. To this in Europe. The organization is to maintain a
end, the IEC publishes standards that cover various file of products that include catalog informa-
subjects in modular form. The text in the IEC doc- tion and, more importantly, to have on file
uments continually references other applicable and maintain all qualification tests of the
IEC specifications for the topic being covereda products. This entity is called a notified
thorough and formal system. body. They would receive, on the manufac-
Preparation of the standards is entrusted to turers behalf, revisions of IEC standards and
technical committees composed of IEC national would notify the manufacturer of changes to
committees interested in the subject. The formal specifications, rules, regulations, etc. The no-
agreement of the IEC on technical matters, pre- tified body would audit the manufacturer to
pared by technical committees on which all the na- confirm compliance. As an example, the no-
tional committees having a special interest are tified body could be an ISO 9000 certifica-
represented, expresses as nearly as possible an in- tion agency.
ternational consensus on the subjects. The stan- 2. The cable manufacturers contract with a
dards are published as recommendations for notified body and the follow-up audits would
international use and are accepted by national com- permit the cable manufacturer to label prod-
mittees in this sense. To promote international ucts with the CE mark. (CE = Compliance
unification, national committees apply IEC inter- European) The notified body would defend
national standards to the maximum extent possible the cable manufacturer when the CE mark is
in national and regional standards. Any divergence challenged.

IEEE Industry Applications Magazine January/February 2001 15

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3. The final step is to have knowledge of the standards and investigates new cable designs via
users specifications (presumably IEC) and laboratory testing of completed cable construc-
the rules and regulations associated with tions and continuously monitors the approved
products as determined by each country. product designs though a systematic sampling of
4. Items 1, 2, and 3 above illustrate the Euro- routine production.
pean use of the IEC standards and prod- Inspection agencies throughout the United
uct-approval requirements. The CE mark is States monitor all aspects of construction: struc-
required for low-voltage cables in Europe. tural, plumbing, and electrical. These inspection
Mexico enforces a similar system. Central and agencies are part of local, state, and federal agen-
South America, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Uru- cies. Local rules and regulations are adopted from
guay, and Paraguay enforce less-stringent approval the NEC and add specific requirements based on
rules as well as other regions of the world. local conditions. The U.S. power cable standards
For a cable manufacturer to state that products and specifications are contributed to by all sectors:
meet or exceed IEC standards can be sufficient to cable manufacturers, users and inspection organi-
offer a proposal in most cases or it can be the first zations throughout the country.
step in the approval process. This article presents the differences in cable
Attached is a comparison of U.S.-manufactured construction requirements between the basic IEC
products to the IEC Specification 60502-1 [12] and domestic U.S. documents.
and 2 [13] (formerly 502 [1]) titled Extruded
Solid Dielectric Insulated Power Cables for Rated Rated Voltages
Voltages from 1 kV up to 30 kV. The comparison The IEC cable rating system and standard voltage
is only shown in XLPE low-voltage power/con- ratings differ from U.S. practices as outlined in UL,
trolmetal clad cable due to space limitations. AEIC, and NEMA (ICEA) standards.
Attached are tables comparing metric with IEC voltage ratings are given in three terms:
Uothe rated power frequency voltage be-
AWG/kcmil conductor designs.
IEC standards cannot reference a standard is- tween the conductor and earth or metallic
sued by another organization. Only IEC standards screen for which the cable is designed (phase
can be referenced. No standard can conflict with to ground),
Uthe rated power frequency voltage be-
another IEC standard.
tween the conductors for which the cable is
No amendments are allowed between revision
designed (phase to phase), and
cycles except for safety issues. Revisions cycles will
Umthe maximum value of the highest
be between two and 12 years, as determined by the
system voltage for which the equipment
committee chair. Between cycles, the standard will
may be used.
be handled by a maintenance group.
The standard voltages of IEC versus NEMA
IEC standards have been renamed to match EN
(ICEA)/AEIC are given in Table I.
or CENELEC [16] designations, for example IEC
Besides different nominal voltage ratings, the
502 (1 - 30 kV) has been broken into renamed IEC
recommendations on insulation levels vary. The
60502-1 [12] (low voltage, 1-3 kV) and IEC
60502-2 [13] (medium voltage, 6-30 kV).
Domestic U.S. standards have the origin of Table I. IEC versus NEMA (ICEA)/AEIC
standards writing in two broad-based cable user Voltages
groups: utilities and industrials. Professional engi-
IEC - 60502-1 NEMA WC 8 (ICEA S-68-516)
neering societies are organized according to the
power delivery market. The IEEE is organized into UO/U (UM) 0.6/1 (1.2) kV 0-600 V
engineering discipline groups such as the Power
Engineering Society, the Petroleum Chemical In- 1.8/3 (3.6) kV 601-2000 V
dustry Committee, and the International Marine
Industry Committee of the Industrial Applications
Society. Standards are based on the unique applica- IEC - 60502-2 NEMA WC 8 (ICEA S-68-516)
tion needs of each group. 2001-5000 V
The basic cable construction foundations can be
traced to the cable manufacturing standards orga- 3.6 /6 (7.2) kV 5001-8000 V
nization, ICEA. ICEA is the power cable technical 6 /10 (12) kV
arm of NEMA. Detailed testing procedures for ma-
terials are referenced to the ASTM documents. 8.7/15 17.5 kV 8001-15,000 V
The U.S. NEC [17] is the base nationwide doc- 12/20 (24) kV 15,001-25,000 V
ument for rules governing the safe, effective use of
electricity. UL is one of several testing organiza- 18/30 (36) kV 25,001 - 28,000 V
tion charged with the task of enforcing product 28,001-35,000 V
safety rules outlined in the NEC. UL prepares cable

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IEC selection of cable system is divided into
three categories: The most common start of
Category AThis category comprises those
systems in which any phase conductor that
harmonization would be to change the
comes in contact with earth or an earth con- 25 C temperature to the IEC value of
ductor is disconnected from the system within 20 C so that conductor values would
1 min. This corresponds to the NEMA (ICEA) /
AEIC 100% level. be in the same terms.
Category BThis category comprises
those systems which, under fault condi-
tions, are operated for a short time with one
phase earthed (grounded). This period
should not exceed 1 hr. For cables covered Stranded metric conductors are not required to
by the IEC standard, a longer period, not have their individual wires twisted so that, in the-
exceeding 8 hr on any occasion, can be tol- ory, all the wires could be parallel although, in
erated. The total duration of earth faults in practice, manufacturing a conductor without some
any year should not exceed 125 hr. This degree of twist in the wires would be virtually im-
corresponds to the NEMA (ICEA) /AEIC possible. ASTM, NEMA, ICEA, and UL strand re-
133% level without the 8 hr of failure at quirements are for twisting the wires to a lay of
one time and 125 hr per year. eight to 16 times the diameter of the outer strand
Category CThis category comprises all the layer. The nominal resistance is adjusted to the
systems that do not fall into category A or B. configuration of the conductors in the final cable
This corresponds to the 173% level defined by the following factors:
as the infinite time to de-energize. Single conductor 2% and
Of interest is the IEC recommended Uo rated Multiconductor 2%, plus one of the following:
voltage for all voltage levels puts Category A and B One layer of conductors 2%,

on the same level. This effectively eliminates the More than one layer of conductors 3%,

recognition of the NEMA (ICEA)/AEIC - 100% Pairs or other precabled units 4%, and

and 133% level systems. These system differentia- More than one layer of pairs or other

tions are well established and widely used. precabled units 5%.
The elimination of the twist requirements in
IEC 60228 will result in the conductor whether
Metric Conductors
single or multiconductor having the same resis-
These are based on IEC 60228 [1], formerly IEC tance value. The similar resistance is further ampli-
228, which contains six classes of conductors: fied in the cable assembly.
Class 1 is solid bare or coated copper (0.5 to
A comparison of IEC and U.S. strands is covered
150 mm2) and aluminum (16 to 300 mm2). in Table II, Stranded Conductors.
Class 2 is stranded bare or coated copper (0.5
to 1000 mm2) and aluminum (16 to 630 Compounds
mm2). This class is divided into three catego- These are referenced by code in IEC standards
ries, circular (noncompacted), compact, and rather than generic designations as used in North
shaped. Circular and compact use the same American standards. This trend may be changing
diameter range. as terms such as EPR and PVC are appearing in
Classes 3 and 4 are no longer used. some IEC standards.
Class 5 is flexible copper (0.5 to 630 mm ).
Class 6 is very flexible copper (0.5 to 300 Metric Conductor Identification
mm2). For solid dielectric power and control cable, the
Conductor dimensions are determined by resis- metric conductor identification is based on IEC
tance, while classes 1, 2, 5, and 6 copper meet a 60245-1 [2] and IEC 60227-1 [14]. IEC stan-
maximum diameter while classes 1 and 2 alumi- dards permit the identification of conductors
num meet minimum and maximum diameters. by colored insulation similar to Method 6 of
Class 1 (solid) and class 2 (stranded circular, com- NEMA WC 57 [4], layer identification, or by
pact, or segment) of the same material and same numbers similar to Method 4 of NEMA WC 57
nominal cross-sectional area have the same speci- [4], Neutral or Single-Color Compounds with
fied maximum resistance in both single conductor Surface Printing of Numbers.
and multiconductor cable. Classes 5 (flexible) and When using the method of numbers, the
6 (very flexible) of the same material and same ground conductor will be green/yellow without
nominal cross-sectional area have the same speci- being numbered and will be placed in the outer
fied maximum resistance in both single conductor layer of the cable. All other conductors will be a
and multiconductor cable. neutral color other than red, grey, or white and

IEEE Industry Applications Magazine January/February 2001 17

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Table II. IEC Class 2 Strand versus ASTM Class B Strand
mm2 . . . . IEC. Diameter Minimum # of Wires Class 2 AWG
. . . . Std. Copper Aluminum Circular Compact Shaped Size cmil
. . . . . . . Max. Min. Max.
. . . . . . . mm (in.) mm (in) mm (in)
.50 . . . . X 1.1 (0.043) 7X - - 987
.52 . . . . 20 1022
.75 . . . . 1.2 (0.047) 7X - - 1480
.82 . . . . 18 1520
1.00 . . . . X 1.4 (0.055) 7X - - 1970
1.31 . . . . 16 2583
1.50 . . . . X 1.7 (0.067) 7X 6X - 2960
2.08 . . . . 14 4110
2.50 . . . . X 2.2 (0.087) 7X 6X - 4930
3.31 . . . . 12 6530
4.00 . . . . X 2.7 (0.106) 7X 6X - 7890
5.26 . . . . 10 10380
6.00 . . . . X 3.3 (0.130) 7X 6X - 11800
6.64 . . . . 9 13090
8.38 . . . . 8 16510
10.00 . . . . X 4.2 (0.165) 7X 6X - 19700
13.3 . . . . 6 26240
16.0 . . . . X 5.3 (0.209) 4.6 (0.181) 5.2 (0.205) 7X 6X - 31600
21.0 . . . . 4 41740
25.0 . . . . X 6.6 (0.260) 5.6 (0.220) 6.5 (0.256) 7X 6X 6X 49300
34.0 . . . . 2 66360
35.0 . . . . X 7.9 (0.311) 6.6 (0.260) 7.5 (0.295) 7X 6X 6X 69100
42.0 . . . . 1 80700
50.0 . . . . X 9.1 (0.358) 7.7 (0.303) 8.6 (0.339) 19X 6X 6X 98500
54.0 . . . . 1/0 105600
67.0 . . . . 2/0 133100
70.0 . . . . X 11.0 (0.433) 9.3 (0.366) 10.2 (0.402) 19X 12X 12X 138000
85.0 . . . . 3/0 167800
95 . . . . . X 12.9 (0.508) 11.0 (0.433) 12.0 (0.472) 19x 15X 15X 187000
107 . . . . . 4/0 211600
120 . . . . . X 14.5 (0.571) 12.5 (0.492) 13.5 (0.531) 37X 18X 18X 237000
127 . . . . . 250 250000
150 . . . . . X 16.2 (0.638) 13.9 (0.547) 15.0 (0.591) 37X 18X 18X 296000
152 . . . . . 300 300000
178 . . . . . 350 350000
185 . . . . . X 18.0 (0.709) 15.5 (0.610) 16.8 (0.661) 37x 30X 30X 365000
203 . . . . . 400 400000
240 . . . . . X 20.6 (0.811) 17.8 (0.701) 19.2 (0.756) 61X 34X 34X 474000
254 . . . . . 500 500000
300 . . . . . X 23.1 (0.909) 20.0 (0.787) 21.6 (0.850) 61X 34X 34X 592000
381 . . . . . 750 750000
400 . . . . . X 26.1 (1.028) 22.9 (0.902) 24.6 (0.967) 61X 53X 53X 788000
500 . . . . . X 29.2 (1.150) 25.7 (1.012) 27.6 (1.087) 61X 53X 53X 986800
508 . . . . . 1000 1000000
630 . . . . . X 33.2 (1.307) 29.3 (1.154) 32.5 (1.280) 91X 53X 53X 1243000
635 . . . . . 1250 1250000
761 . . . . . 1500 1500000
800 . . . . . X 37.6 (1.480) 91X 53X - 1579000
888 . . . . . 1750 1750000
1000 . . . . X 42.4 (1.669) 91X 53X - 1974000
1015 . . . . 2000 2000000
1200 . . . . X - Not specified - 2368000
1600 . . . . X - Not specified - 3158000
2000 . . . . X - Not specified - 3947000
X = IEC preferred size

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contain consecutively longitudinally applied num- The conductors that are the same color may not be
bers with the numbering starting at one in the in- green, yellow, light blue, or brown.
ner layer. The numbering will be in the same color North American color codes are started at the
at regular intervals not exceeding 50 mm (1.968 center of the cable, where IEC color codes have trac-
in). Consecutive numbers will be inverted in rela- ers and neutrals in the outer layer. Table IV contains
tion to each other. Numbers are to be applied lon- a comparison of IEC and domestic color codes.
gitudinally on the conductor. When the number is
a single digit, a dash will be placed beneath it. If
Metric Grounding (Earthing) Conductors
the numbers consist of two digits, a dash will be
These are based on IEC 92-401 [5]. Grounds insu-
placed below the second digit. This type of number lated with the same material as the main power
is similar to the longitudinal numbers described in conductor are the preferred type in IEC standards.
Method 6 of MIL-C-24643A [4]. The insulated earth wire (ground) will be colored
The method for colored phase identification of green/yellow. Bare grounds are only permitted in a
singles of multiple metric conductor cable using cable when the main power conductor is less than 6
colored insulations does not permit the colors red, mm2 (less than 9 AWG) and when in contact with
grey, white, and yellow and green when not in a metallic sheath. Table V explains the use and siz-
combination on the ground (earthling) conductor, ing of metric grounding (earthing) conductors.
to be used in multicore (multiconductor) cables. NEC Table 250-122 provides the minimum size
The green/yellow conductor designating the for equipment grounding conductors of copper and
ground (earthing) conductor shall have one color aluminum based on the ampere rating of over-
cover 30% to 70% of the surface with the other current devices ahead the equipment protected.
color covering the remainder. A light blue conduc- These conductors can be either bare or insulated
tor designates the neutral conductor and a brown based upon the end users need. No distinction is
conductor designates the layer tracer conductor. made between sizes for solid or stranded grounds.

Table III. Comparison of IEC and North American Color Codes

IEC 60245-1 [2] NEMA WC 57 [3]
1/C cable No preferred color scheme. 1 Black
Use black when color is not indicated.

2/C cable No preferred color scheme. 1 Black

Use black and light blue 2 White
when colors are not indicated.
Table E1 or E3 Table E2 or E4
Ground included Without ground Ground included Without ground
3/C cable Green/ yellow Light blue 1 Black Black
Light blue Black 2 White Red
Brown Brown 3 Red Blue

4/C cable Green/ yellow Light blue 1 Black Black

Light blue Black 2 White Red
Black Brown 3 Red Blue
Brown Black Or Brown 4 Green Orange

5/C cable Green/ yellow Light Blue 1 Black Black

Light blue Black 2 White Red
Black Brown 3 Red Blue
Brown Black or brown 4 Green Orange
Black or brown Black or brown 5 Orange Yellow

More than 5/C cable Outer layer

Green/ yellow Light blue 1 Black Black
Light blue Brown 2 White Red
All other All other 3 Red Blue
Conductors Conductors 4 Green Orange
Black Black 5 Orange Yellow
Inner layers 6 Blue Brown
Brown Brown 7 White w/black Red w/black
All other All other 8 Red w/black Blue w/black
Conductors Conductors 9 Green w/black Orange w/black
Black Black 10 Orange w/black Yellow w/black

IEEE Industry Applications Magazine January/February 2001 19

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Table IV. Metric Grounding (Earthing) Conductors
Main Power Conductor Earthing (Grounding) Conductor
Ground in Cable Insulated Ground
16 mm2 or less Same size as main conductor, but not less than 1.5 mm2
More than 16 mm2 50% of the main conductor, but not less than 16 mm2
Bare Ground
1 to 2.5 mm2 1 mm2
4 to 6 mm2 1.5 mm2
Separate Ground Earthing (Grounding) Conductor
3 mm2 or less Same size as main conductor, but not less than 1.5 mm2 for strand or not less
than 3 mm2 for solid
More than 3 mm2, but
not greater than 125 mm2 50% of the main conductor, but not less than 3 mm2
Greater than 125 mm2 64 mm2
Flexible Cable or Cord Earthing (Grounding) Conductor
16 mm2 or less Same size as main conductor, but not less than 1.5 mm2
More than 16 mm2 50% of the main conductor, but not less than 16 mm2

Table V. Flat-Wire (Strap) Thickness

Calculated cable diameter Flat Wire Thickness
Above Up to and Including Steel or Galvanized Steel Aluminum
mm (in) mm (in) mm (in) mm (in)
- - 30 (1.181) 0.2 (0.0078) 0.5 (0.0196)
30 (1.182) 70 (2.756) 0.5 (0.0196) 0.5 (0.0196)
70 (2.757) 0.8 (.0315) 0.8 (0.0315)
The minimum thickness may be up to 8% below nominal thickness above.

Cable Assembly gory C (trip over 1 hr) recommendation is to use

IEC cable standards, 502 [1], 60502-1 [12], and 3.6/6 (7.2) kV cables. These are covered in IEC
60502-2 [13] do not contain a requirement for the 60502-1 [12] and 60502-2 [13].
length of cable lay whereas North American stan- IEC 60502-2 allows PVC with an insulation
dards limit the maximum length of the lay to: thickness of 3.4 mm (0.134 in) to be used at 3.6/6
Two conductors: 30 times the individual (7.2) kV non shielded. IEC 60502-2 also allows
conductor diameter; ethylene propylene rubber (EPR) and hard EPR
Three conductors: 35 times the individual (HEPR) to be unscreened (nonshielded). However,
conductor diameter; this requires a heavier insulation thickness of 3.0
Four conductors: 40 times the individual mm (0.118 in) for sizes 10 mm2 to 400 mm2 and
conductor diameter; and 3.2 mm (0.126 in) for sizes 500 to 1000 mm2.
Five or more: 15 times the assembled core di- Shielding is required for operating voltages above
ameter. 2 kV for single conductors without shielding or ar-
Since length of lay affects conductor resistance mor or multiconductor cables without a discharge
by the longer path of each conductor, North Amer- resistant jacket. This compares with the recom-
ican standards provide factors to compensate for mendation in Table 4-1 of NEMA WC 8 (ICEA
the resistance requirement as previously shown un- S-68-516) for single conductors without metallic a
der the section on conductors. IEC standards use sheath or armor or multiconductor cables without
only a maximum conductor resistance requirement a discharge-resistant jacket.
for each conductor size no matter how many con- IEC standards do not take into account the dif-
ductors are in the cable. This can result in different ferences of wet or dry locations as given in Table
conductor diameters for the same size conductor in 310-63 of the NEC, nor is there any consideration
cables with a different number of conductors. for a discharge-resistant jacket.
North American conductors are of a fixed diameter
range for each conductor size and type. Inner Covering
The inner covering may be an extruded layer or
Shielding (Screening) lapped tape. It is required on cables rated more than
The shielding requirements of IEC and ICEA are 1000 V that is to have metallic shielding or armor.
not consistent. The IEC requirements are covered On cables of 1000 V or less, the inner covering may
in both 60502-1 [12] and 2 [13]. IEC 60502-1 be omitted when using metallic tapes with a nomi-
covers voltage systems of 1.8/3 (3.6) kV. The cate- nal thickness of 0.3 mm (0.011 in) or less.

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Table VI. XLPE Power and Control Cable
IEC 60502-1 [15] Cable for rated voltages of 1 kV and 3 kV compared to UL Standard 1569 [6], Metal Clad Cables, 600 to 2000 V.

IEC 60502-1 [12] UL 1569 [6]

Insulating Materials XLPE XLPE
Temperature Rating
Normal Operation 90 C 90 C
Short Circuit Operation 250 C 250 C
Jacket for 90C rated cable Thermoplastic PVC Thermoplastic PVC
Thermoplastic PE
Conductors Per IEC 60228 [2]
1. 5 to 1 000 mm2 Copper 14 AWG to 1000 kcmil copper
Insulation Thickness Conductor Thickness Conductor Thickness
UO /U (UM) UO /U (UM)
mm2 0.6/ 1 (1.2) kV 1.8/ 3 (3.6) kV AWG 600 V 2000 V
1.5 - 6 0.7 mm (0.028 in) - 14 - 10 0.76 mm (0.030 in) 1.52 mm (0.060 in)
10 - 16 0.7 mm (0.028 in) 2.0 mm (0.079 in) 8 1.14 mm (0.045 in) 1.78 mm (0.070 in)
25 - 35 0.9 mm (0.035 in) 2.0 mm (0.079 in)
50 1.0 mm (0.039 in) 2.0 mm (0.079 in) 6- 2 1.14 mm (0.045 in) 1.78 mm (0.070 in)
70 - 95 1.1 mm (0.043 in) 2.0 mm (0.079 in) 1 - 4/0 1.39 mm (0.055 in) 2.29 mm (0.090 in)
120 1.2 mm (0.047 in) 2.0 mm (0.079 in)
150 1.4 mm (0.055 in) 2.0 mm (0.079 in) kcmil
185 1.6 mm (0.063 in) 2.0 mm (0.079 in) 250 - 500 1.65 mm (0.065 in) 2.67 mm (0.105 in)
240 1.7 mm (0.067 in) 2.0 mm (0.079 in)
300 1.8 mm (0.071 in) 2.0 mm (0.079 in)
400 2.0 mm (0.079 in) 2.0 mm (0.079 in) 501 - 1000 2.03 mm (0.080 in) 3.05 mm (0.120 in)
500 2.2 mm (0.087 in) 2.2 mm (0.087 in)
630 2.4 mm (0.094 in) 2.4 mm (0.087 in)
800 2.6 mm (0.102 in) 2.6 mm (0.102 in)
1000 2.8 mm (0.110 in) 2.8 mm (0.110 in)
Min. Pt. 90% - 0.1 mm 90% - 0.1 mm 90% 90%
Assembly of cores, inner coverings, and fillers.
a) Inner covering needed on cables with: Polyester tape is provided on cable with interlocked
Armor, armor or continuously welded corrugated metal armor.
Concentric conductor, or
Other metallic layer.
b) Metallic tapes can be applied directly
over cable core.
c) Inner covering is not required for
circular cores not covered under a.
Inner covering extruded or lapped (tape). Tape applied over core
Types of metallic layer a) Metallic screen
b) Concentric conductor
c) Metallic sheath
d) Metallic armor
Cables rated greater than 1 kV Metallic layer surrounding the core either individually or collectively.

Metallic armor
Types of metallic armor a) Flat wire armor (flat straps) a) Armor consists of 0.55 mm or
b) Round wire armor greater aluminum continuously
c) Double tape armor (Parkway) welded and corrugated.
b) Armor consists of interlocked
steel or aluminum tape.
c) Smooth metallic sheath.
Routine Tests
Electrical resistance of conductors at 20 C 25 C
for 1 km (3048 ft) 1000 ft (304.8 m)
Voltage test ac or dc at = 2.4 ac voltage ac
5 min 5 min
Conductor to conductor and shield Conductor to conductor and shield at 2.5 Uo +2 kV
Voltage Rating AC Voltage Conductor AC
Uo U Voltage Rating Size Voltage
0.6 kV 1 kV 3.5 kV 600V 14 -10 3.0 kV

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Cables with five or fewer conductors can have ness is 0.4 mm (0.016 in) for core diameters to 40
fillers in the interstices between conductors and tape mm (1.57 in) and 0.6 mm (0.024 in) above 40 mm
to maintain a round configuration. The tape thick- (1.57 in). All cables with more than five conductors

Table VI., Continued

8-2 3.5 kV
1 - 4/0 4.0 kV
250- 500 5.0 kV
501 -1000 6.0 kV
1.8 kV 3 kV 6.5 kV 2000 V 14 -10 6.0 kV
8 6.0 kV
6-2 7.5 kV
1 - 4/0 9.0 kV
250- 500 10.0 kV
501 -1000 11.0 kV
Special tests
Frequency of special tests
a) Conductor examination Maximum of 10% of lengths Once per size
Check of dimensions Maximum of 10% of lengths 10 % of master lengths
b) Electrical and physical tests See test section See test section
a) Insulation Min. Pt. 90% - 1 mm Min. Pt. 90%
b) Non-metallic sheaths (Jackets). Min. Pt. 80% - 2 mm Min. Pt. 80%
Physicals XLPE XLPE
Tensile minimum 12.5 N/mm2 (1800 psi) 12.5 N/mm2 (1800 psi)
Elongation minimum 200% 250%
200% modulus, minimum - 6.9 N/mm2 (1000 psi)
Aged at 135 C for seven days 121 C for seven days
Tensile unaged + or - 25% (125 - 75%) 75 %
Elongation unaged + or - 25% (125 - 75%) 75%
XLPE insulation characteristics
Hot set test after 15 min at 200 C 15 min at 150 C
and 20 N/cm2 (29 psi) 20.4 g/mm2 (29 psi)
Max. elongation under load 175% 100%
Max. elongation cool 15% -
Set test, maximum - 5%
Water absorption after 14 days at 85C seven days at 70 C
Maximum variation of mass 1 Mg/cm2 10 mg/in2 (1.54 Mg./cm2)
Shrinkage after 1 hr at 130 C, Not required
Maximum, % 4
Table 8 PVC Type ST2 sheath
Tensile minimum 12.5 N/mm2 (1800 psi) 12.5 N/mm2 (1800 psi)
Elongation minimum 150% 200%
Aged at 100 C for seven days 121 C for seven days
Tensile minimum 12.5 N/mm2 (1800 psi) -
Variation between samples 25%
Tensile, % of unaged, min. - 75
Elongation, minimum 150% -
Variation between samples 25%
Elongation, % of unaged, min. 60
Characteristics PVC Type ST 2 sheath
Loss of mass at 100 C for seven days Not required
Maximum 1.5 Mg/ cm2 Typical 1.5 Mg/ cm2
Pressure test at high temperature
Maximum indent at 90C 50% Not required
Cold bending at -15 C 1 hr at -55 C
No cracks No cracks
Cold elongation -15 C Not required
Cold impact -15 C 4 hr at -35 C

Pass eight of ten specimens

Heat shock 1 hr at 150 C 1 hr at 121 C

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must have an extruded covering. The extruded inner
covering may have an open helix of tape as a binder While a metal screen cannot be used as
before the application of the extruded inner cover-
ing material. The binder is optional.
an armor, an armor can be used as a
The extruded thickness (1.0 mm or 0.040 in to screen under the rules of some countries.
2.0 mm or 0.079 in) depends upon the diameter of
the cable assembly. North American cables with
metal covering require a tape inner covering [6].
However, the required covering is 0.30 mm (0.012 where tS = nominal thickness of separa-
in) for article tape, 0.25 mm (0.010 in) for elasto- tion sheath.
mer filled cloth, 0.15 mm (0.006 in), for elastomer Du = calculated (fictitious) diameter un-
filled Nylon (polyamide), or 0.05 mm (0.002 in) der the sheath rounded to the first deci-
for a polyester tape that is much thinner than re- mal place.
quired by IEC standards. In both IEC and U.S. The nominal thickness of the separation

standards the tape thickness may be made up of one sheath shall not be less than 1.2 mm
tape or the combined thickness of several tapes. (0.047 in).
Minimum point = 80% - 0.2 mm of nom-

inal or 80%/0.0078 in of nominal.

Metric Shielding Tape and Armor
Metallic armors are:
These are based on IEC 60502-1 [12] and 60502-2
Flat wire. It may not be used for cable with a
[13] formerly 502 [1]. While a metal screen cannot
diameter less than 15 mm (0.590 in). Flat
be used as an armor, an armor can be used as a
wire armors are galvanized steel, lead coated
screen under the rules of some countries. Cables can
steel, or aluminum. Table V lists the required
employ both a metal screen and an armor that when
nominal thickness of IEC flat wire (strap in
of different metals must have a separation screen
U.S. nomenclature) armors. On cables with a
between the metals.
diameter above 15 mm (0.590 in), the thick-
Cable rated greater than U of 1000 V (Uo of 0.6 ness of flat steel wire required is 0.8 mm
kV) must include a metallic layer while cable rated (.0315 in) with multiple flat tapes used to
at U of 1000 V (Uo of 0.6 kV) has the metallic layer make the thickness. Flat wire armor is ap-
as an option. UL/NEC constructions have two plied with a minimum gap between wires us-
types of armor: interlocked, consisting of a steel or ing the number of full flat wires that will fit
aluminum strip formed to lock each helical strip around the circumference of the calculated
wrap together, and corrugated tube, consisting of a diameter. When the gap is too wide, an open
copper or aluminum tube wrapped about the cable,
welded and smooth or corrugated. Corrugated
tube, while invented in Europe, is not found in IEC Table VII. Required Nominal Thickness of
standards except for IEC 60840 [18], which lists Round-Wire Armors
both welded smooth and corrugated aluminum
tube for cable from 30 to 150 kV. Armor in North Calculated Cable Diameter
American standards is not considered or used as a Above Up to and including mm Wire Diameter
shield as with some IEC armors. mm (in) (in) mm (in)
The types of IEC metallic layers are:
15 (0.590) 0.8 (0.031)
Metallic screen. It is composed of copper
tape. On 1000-V cables, tape less than 0.3 Or 1.25 (0.492)
mm (0.0118 in) may be applied directly over
15 (0.590) 25 (0.984) 1.6 (0.063)
the cabled core without an inner covering.
Concentric conductors. These shall be ap- 25 (0.985) 35 (1.378) 2.0 (0.078)
plied directly over the inner covering.
35 (1.379) 60 (2.362) 2.5 (0.098)
Lead sheath. For all cable types, the mini-
mum permitted nominal thickness of the 60 (2.363) 3.15 (0.124)
lead sheath is 1.2 mm (0.047 in).
The minimum diameter may be up to %5 below, nominal diameter above.
Metallic armor. When the metallic armor is
of a different metal than the metal screen, it
shall be separated from the screen by an ex-
truded separation sheath meeting the re- Table VIII. Double Tape Thickness
quirements for the type material. The Armor Tape Thickness Required Bedding Tape Thickness
nominal thickness of the separation sheath is
determined by: 0.2 mm (0.0078 in) 0.5 mm (0.020 in)
tS in mm = 0.02 * Du in mm + 0.6 mm Over 0.2 mm 0.8 mm (0.031in)
or tS in in = 0.02 * Du in in + 0.023 in,

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helix of galvanized steel tape 0.3 mm (0.0118 bedding. The nominal thickness of the rein-
in) or greater may be applied over flat-steel forced inner covering is the required inner
wire armor, if necessary to fully cover the ca- covering thickness plus the required bedding
ble with metal. tape thickness (see the section Inner Cover-
Round wire. These armors are galvanized ing and Table VIII). The minimum point =
steel, lead coated steel, or aluminum. Table 80% 0.2 mm of nominal or 80% 0.0078
VII lists the required nominal thickness of in of nominal. An extruded inner covering
round-wire armors. The minimum diameter meeting the requirement of the separation
may be up to 5% below the nominal diameter sheath does not require the additional bed-
above. Round-wire armor shall be closed ding tape.
with a minimum gap between wires using The types of tape armor are steel, galvanized
the number of full round wires that will fit steel, and aluminum. Tape armor shall be applied
around the circumference of the calculated helically in two layers so that the outer tape is cen-
diameter. An open helix of galvanized steel tered over the gap of the inner tape. The gap be-
tape 0.3 mm (0.0118 in) or greater may be tween adjacent turns shall not exceed 50% of the
applied over round steel-wire armor, if neces- tape width so that the cable is fully covered with
sary, to fully cover the cable with metal. metal (see Table IX).
Double tape. Known in the United States as
parkway finish, this armor requires that the
taped inner covering be reinforced by a taped Cable Marking
The requirements for cable marking are seldom
found in IEC standards. IEC 80245-1 [2] is one of
Table IX. Cable Diameter the few IEC standards that contain marking re-
quirements. IEC cable marking requirements con-
Calculated Cable Diameter sist of the manufacturers name or trademark. This
Above Up to and including mm Tape Thickness information can be provided by printing, indent-
mm (in) (in) mm (in) ing, embossing, or marking tape. This differs from
North American cable, where the manufacturer,
30 (1.181) 0.2 (.0078) construction, cable type, and approval organiza-
30 (1.182) 70 (2.756) 0.5 (.0196) tion are applied along with any special properties
of the material.
70 (2.757) 0.8 (.031) Examples of U.S. special property markings are:
The minimum thickness is 10% below nominal. SUN RES for sunlight resistant,
FOR CT USE for cable qualified for use in
trays, and
OIL RES for cables that contain oil-resistant
Table X. IEC Special Electrical and insulations or jackets.
Physical Tests
Length of Multicore 1/C Number of Samples Testing
0-2 km (6562 ft) 0-4 km (13124 ft) 0
Routine tests are performed on each length of cable
in both IEC and domestic standards. Special test
2-10 km 4-20 km 1 frequency for IEC standards is based on the length
of cable produced and whether the cable is single or
10-20 km 20-40 km 2
multiconductor. U.S. frequency is based on the
20-30 km 40-60 km 3 length of cable produced and whether the conduc-
tor is larger or smaller than 250 kcmil (see tables).
Type tests are performed on 10 to 15 m of cable
Table XI. U.S. Special Electrical and in IEC standards. These tests are similar to the
Physical Tests (Varies by Type of qualification tests listed in AEIC standards.
Test and Conductor Size)
Conductor Size
Flame Tests
Flame tests are intended to evaluate the
Less than 250 kcmil 250 kcmil and larger Number of Samples
characteristis of the type of cable being considered
for an application. IEC flame tests are intended for
0 -0.61 km (0-2000 ft) 0-0.31 km (0-1000 ft) 0
IEC-constructed cables with the the overall metal
0.61-15.3 km 0. 31-15.3 km 1 protection while U.S. flame tests are intended to
(2000-50,000 ft) (1000-25,000 ft) evaluate cables constructed to U.S. standards.
While some flame evaluations are similar, most are
Additional 15.6 km Additional 7.6 km 1
(50,000 ft) (25,000 ft)
intended for constructions manufactured to either
IEC or U.S. standards. The mixing of IEC tests

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with U.S. constructions is meaningless except sions than those in the U.S. IEC standards gener-
where the tests are similar. ally favor European-based products, but this is
likely due to the lack of serious U.S. participation.
Conclusion Until recently, U.S. standards have been based on
Cables made to IEC and U.S. standards, while hav- domestic production because there was no need to
ing the same purpose, are of widely different de- get involved with the rest of the world. The most
signs. Cables made to one standard cannot be made common start of harmonization would be to
to match the requirements of the other. The cable change the 25 C temperature to the IEC value of
made to the U.S. standards has been used in the 20 C so that conductor values would be in the
U.S. and throughout most of the world. The IEC
same terms.
standards have not been widely used in Europe
where national and private industrial and utility
standards have prevailed. IEC standards have been References
mainly used in countries where there have not been [1] Conductors of Insulated Cables, IEC 60228, 1978.
strong electrical codes. The European Unions ad- [2] Rubber Insulated CablesRated Voltages up to and Including
450/750 V, IEC 60245-1, 1994.
aptation of the IEC standards under the harmo- [3] Standard for Control Cables, NEMA WC 57, 1998.
nized EN standards of CENELEC [16] adds the [4] Cables and Cords, Electric, Low Smoke for Shipboard Use,
force of law to the standards. This will promote a MIL-C-24643A, 1994.
wider use of the IEC (CENELEC) standards on the [5] Installation and Test of Completed Installation, IEC 92-401,
European continent, although, at this writing, 1998.
[6] Metal Clad Cables, UL 1569, 1999.
each country could still apply its national rules to
[7] Fire-Resisting Characteristics of Electrical Cables, IEC 331.
the CENELEC standard. This is scheduled to [8] Flame-Retardant Characteristics of Electrical Cables, IEC 332.
change because all CENELEC European harmo- [9] Marine Shipboard Cable, UL 1309, 1995.
nized documents have already been withdrawn and [10] Test on Single Vertical Insulated Wire, IEC 332-1.
replaced by European Norms. These are the same, [11] Test on a Single Vertical Insulated Copper Wire or Cable, IEC
word for word, in all European countries.
[12] Cables for Rated Voltages of 1 kV and 3 kV, IEC 60502-1,
CENELEC members are also members of the IEC 1997.
and, therefore, do not operate a competitive policy [13] Cables for Rated Voltages from 6 kV up to 30 kV, IEC 60502-2,
with respect to the IEC. International harmoniza- 1997.
tion of standards must be done at the IEC level. [14] IEEE Standard for Type Test of Class IE Electric Cables, Field
The addition of the CE mark to products meeting Splices and Connections for Nuclear Power Generating Stations,
IEEE 383 ANSI N41.10, 1975.
CENELEC is similar to the application of the UL [15] Reference Standard for Electrical Wires, Cables and Flexible
mark to products meeting UL standards in the U.S. Cords, UL 1581, 1997.
Worldwide harmonization of standards looks to [16] CENELEC European Committee for Electrotechnical
be a long process. North American and European Standardization, Paris, France.
electrical systems are based on different voltages or [17] National Electrical Code, NEC NFPA 70, 1999.
[18] Power Cables with Extruded Insulation and Their Accessories for
frequencies, different conductor sizes, and a differ- Rated Voltages above 30 kV up to 150 kV, IEC 60840 (IEC
ent concept of what an electrical system should do. 840), 1999.
Standards were written by local organizations, and [19] Polyvinyl Chloride Insulated Cables of Rated Voltages up to and
those in Europe came to totally different conclu- Including 450/750 V, IEC 60227-1 (IEC 227-1), 1998.

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