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How does ul 910 test work?

2023-11-20 13:16

The UL 910 standard, officially known as the "Standard for Fire Tests of Flame-Propagation and Smoke-Density Values for Electrical and Optical-Fiber Cables Used in Spaces Transporting Environmental Air," is a fire test conducted by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to evaluate the fire performance of electrical and optical-fiber cables in air-handling spaces. This standard is crucial for ensuring the safety of cables used in environments where the circulation of environmental air is present, such as air ducts and plenums.

Here is an overview of how the UL 910 test works:


The UL 910 test assesses the flame propagation and smoke generation characteristics of cables when exposed to fire in air-handling spaces. The goal is to determine whether the cables meet specific safety criteria related to flame spread and smoke density.

Test Setup:

The test involves a vertically mounted sample of the cable being evaluated. The sample is typically about 24 feet (7.32 meters) in length. The test apparatus includes a test chamber designed to simulate the conditions of an air-handling space.

Test Procedure:

  1. Sample Preparation: The cable sample is prepared according to the requirements of the UL 910 standard.
  2. Vertical Tray Test: The prepared cable sample is vertically suspended in a chamber, and a controlled flame is applied to the lower end of the cable.
  3. Flame Application: A specified flame is applied to the cable, and the test measures the flame propagation along the length of the cable.
  4. Smoke Generation Measurement: The test also assesses the amount of smoke generated by the burning cable. Smoke density is an important factor, as excessive smoke can impede visibility and evacuation efforts during a fire.

Evaluation Criteria:

The UL 910 test evaluates the cable based on specific criteria, including:

  • Flame Spread: The distance and speed at which flames propagate along the cable.
  • Smoke Density: The amount of smoke generated during the test.

Test Results:

The cable can pass or fail the UL 910 test based on whether it meets the criteria specified in the standard. A cable that limits flame spread and produces minimal smoke is considered safer in air-handling spaces.


Compliance with the UL 910 standard is crucial for cables used in air-handling spaces to ensure that they do not contribute significantly to the spread of fire or the generation of excessive smoke. This is especially important in buildings where the circulation of environmental air is a key factor, as in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems.


The UL 910 test is a critical evaluation method that helps establish the fire safety performance of cables in air-handling spaces. Meeting the requirements of this standard ensures that cables can be used safely in environments where the circulation of environmental air is present, minimizing the risk of fire and smoke hazards.

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