In the world of structured cabling, there is a wide smorgasbord of materials and equipment to be applied to the job. Different wiring, cabling, utility tools and hardware are used to solve all varieties of issues and complication in the designing building and maintenance of a cable network. These structured cabling products and materials are often classified or bulked together based on the sort of network they serve, and the kinds of construction codes they uphold. One example of these categories is Structured Cabling Products of the Plenum variety or, SCP-P.
Plenum cable is run in the plenum spaces of structures and buildings. This refers to the spaces in construction meant for the proper circulation of temperature control coming form heating and/or air conditioning systems. Because of the pressures and implications of these spaces, plenum cabling must meet very specific qualifications. Regulated by the National Fire Protection Association, SCP-P, and the plastics used to make them are constructed very carefully. They are tested extensively for fire safety under the NFPA code 90A which sets the rules and standards for building ventilation systems.
Plenum cabling materials are coated or jacketed in a special fire-retardant case of polyvinyl chloride, (also known as PVC) or fluorinated ethylene polymer, (abbreviated FEP). These plastic compositions are compounded against flame and spark, and thus are the most safe to use in spaces where air and heat travel at great force. These sort of SCP-P is re-applied particularly in large buildings in which cable networks are installed as part of the infrastructure as opposed applied externally. This integration into the ventilation system follows suit of many construction practices of organizing similar systems in similar areas. In this case, information and power run over plenum cables, much like air and heat run through vents. This method is employed to help keep things tidy, as much of the cable ends up hidden in ceilings and walls.
Though it depends on the exact sort of cable, most plenum cables are pretty affordable. You can purchase bulk plenum cable at a length of one thousand feet for under $200 dollars and the shelf-life of such cable is considerable. SCP-P are, however not necessary for every cabling job. Out-of-the-wall networks where heat and air exposure are not a factor do not require plenum products, and more basic casing around the cable will work just fine. Even with proper casing, plenum cables do where out and get degraded by cross frequencies and external environmental factors. As technology develops, these materials are being designed to be even more durable and long lasting. Because many industrial networks, like those in businesses and large office buildings use this method of SCP-P, the money for innovation is present and willing. Newly constructed houses and apartment buildings are also starting so apply plenum materials, so it is useful for structured cabling installer and technicians to keep these materials handy and to be well versed as to how they are used.