Updated Code Leads to Class I, Div 2 Approval for XW Fiberglass Conduit
Today, Champion Fiberglass Haz Duct® XW Type Conduit is approved by the National Electrical Code (NEC) for Class I, Division 2 and Zone 1, Division 2 applications in the U.S. and by the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) for Zone 1, Division 2 installations.
In 2005, Champion Fiberglass CEO Goran Haag submitted to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) a proposal to allow XW Type Conduit in Class I, Div 2 applications, including confirmation that this conduit product met the requirements of Article 501.10B. Although this was the proposal’s third time before the code panel, this time, both DuPont USA and Dow Chemical were in support of the application.
A preliminary vote was held in 2006, and with very little opposition, the proposal moved forward, appearing as an item before the 2007 NFPA Codes and Standards Council at their triennial meeting in Boston, MA. (Read more about the council’s democratic, cooperative approach to developing and evolving safety codes and standards here.)
Because XW Type fiberglass conduit (RTRC) represented a lightweight option to heavy, rigid steel electrical conduit options, opposition was expected – and appeared in the form of representatives of the steel conduit industry, who had filed motions against the proposal and were prepared to speak against the code update.
As Mr. Haag prepared to debate his proposal with the steel conduit industry representatives (before a member body, council, and audience numbering close to 1,000), the two representatives had an opportunity to speak against the proposal. In a surprising shift, each representative withdrew their motions against the proposal and declined their opportunity to speak against it.
The revised code was published Jan. 1, 2008, stating that all RTRC/fiberglass conduit of XW thickness listed by any authority was approved for use in Class I, Div 2 applications and Zone 1, Div 2 applications in the U.S.A. In 2015, the CEC approved XW conduit for use in Zone 1, Div 2 applications. After years of cooperation with the NFPA, the governing body of NEC, this was a major win for Champion Fiberglass – and for customers, who benefit from the savings that come with the ability to use this lightweight, complete Champion Fiberglass Haz Duct® XW Type fiberglass conduit solution (including fittings and elbows) for installations in hazardous industrial environments.
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