Allied Encyclopedia – What is Plenum Cable?

Allied EncyclopediaIf you aren’t a builder, an electrician, or a building inspector, you may not know what a plenum is; let alone what you should look for in a plenum cable. Well, we are here to fill you in on the basics of plenum cable.

First off, plenum cable is installed in plenum spaces. A plenum is any space in a building used for the air circulation with heating and air conditioning systems. This includes the space beneath raised floors and above most dropped ceilings. Many times these areas house the building’s communication and network cables.

Plenum spaces have ready access to air and, more specifically, oxygen that will help fire to spread, so there are a number of safety concerns that come with installing cable in these areas. As a result of these fire concerns, the National Electric Code outlines several fire-related standards for plenum cable.

Cables must meet smoke and flame propagation requirements and they cannot emit any toxic fumes when burned.  Plenum cables also use fire-retardant materials such as PVC for their jackets. PTFE and FEP are also commonly used as jacketing for plenum cables. All of these safety precautions are designed to minimize fire risks.

That about sums up the plenum cable basics. If you want to learn more about plenum cable, visit our Allied-sponsored mini-site,

About awcwire
Allied Wire & Cable is a value-added manufacturer and distributor of electrical wire and cable, tubing, and more. We are a family owned and operated company, serving a wide range of industries, including the military, automotive, aerospace, and telecommunications markets. Allied is headquartered in Collegeville, PA. Additional locations can be found across the US, in Merrimack, NH, Tampa, FL, Pewaukee, WI, and Las Vegas, NV. For more information on Allied, visit our main website at

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