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Online shopping has certainly experienced a boom over the last six months, as many of us have felt less comfortable in physical stores. While electronic transactions might seem like a direct communication with retailers like Amazon or delivery services that work with your local supermarket, they’re actually pretty complicated transactions.

Halogen-Free Conduit Brings Added Safety to the Cloud

Chuck Ross
Online shopping has certainly experienced a boom over the last six months, as many of us have felt less comfortable in physical stores. While electronic transactions might seem like a direct communication with retailers like Amazon or delivery services that work with your local supermarket, they’re actually pretty complicated transactions. That “cloud” you’re ordering through could actually be made up of a number of data centers, making this one of the few construction markets that could actually grow as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the research firm Technavio estimates the value of data center construction will grow more than 10% per year between now and 2024.

Data centers are unique environments. For one thing, they use a lot of power, which can mean an equally large amount of conduit. That conduit – often liquid-tight, flexible varieties – is frequently installed in underfloor plenums, which are enclosed spaces requiring special attention. For electrical contractors, this means specifying conduit that poses reduced fire and smoke risks.

The material used to create jacketed conduit varieties is an important consideration in these specifications. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is frequently used in general applications, can release halogen gases in a fire, including hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride and hydrogen bromide. This has led to increased demand for halogen-free, polyurethane-based jacketing. Zero-halogen, flexible electrical conduit emits low amounts of non-toxic smoke. It also is self-extinguishing, so it won’t feed any fires it might be exposed to. Both of these characteristics could be critical to protecting both equipment and human lives in the case a fire does occur.
Photo courtesy of Electri-Flex
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