Composite Materials | Industrial Laminates | Machined Components | Composite Tubes

Attwater Standards

The following table shows the relationship between the current Custom Composites grades of tube and the Attwater Grades of sheet and how they cross reference to previous standards. For earlier cross references to BS5102, BS1137, BS2076, BS972, BS668, BS547 or BS 316 please contact us.

Common Standards for industrial laminate and tubes

Attwater Grade Type BSEN60893 Specification BS3953 Specification BS2572 Specification
B10 Phenolic Cotton 3-4-PFCC305 F1
B10S Phenolic Cotton 3-4-PFCC204 F5
B11 Phenolic Cotton 3-4-PFCC203 F2
B12S Phenolic Cotton 3-4-PFCC201 / 203 F3 or F2
B12S Phenolic Cotton 3-4-PFCC202 F4 or F2/1
B42 Epoxy Cotton 3-2-EPCC301 F6
B4PQ Phenolic Paper 3-4-PFCP207 P1
B4PQ Phenolic Paper 3-4-PFCP201 P1
B3 Phenolic Paper 3-4-PFCP202 P2
B3 Phenolic Paper 3-4-PFCP203 P2/1
B1 Phenolic Paper 3-4-PFCP206 P3
B46 Epoxy Glass 3-2-EPGC201 EP3
G10 Epoxy Glass 3-2-EPGC201 EP3
B38 Epoxy Glass (FR) 3-2-EPGC202 EP4
B36 Epoxy Glass 3-2-EPGC203 EP3 & EP5
B48 Epoxy Glass 3-2-EPGC203 EP5 & EP7
B30 Phenolic Glass PF2 PF2
B32 Silicone Glass S14 / S15 SI4 / SI5
B34 Polymide Glass PI1 PI1
BSEN 61212 BS6128 part 2
Current Superseded
Specification Specification
T1 Phenolic Paper PFCP21 and 23 PFCP 81 and 82  –
T10S Phenolic Cotton PFCC 21 PFCC 81  –
T12S Phenolic Cotton PFCC 22 PFCC 82  –
T32 Silicone Glass SIGC 21 SIGC 81  –
T38 Epoxy Glass EFGC 22 EFGC 81  –
T48 Epoxy Glass EFGC 23  –
T42 Epoxy Cotton EFGC 22 EPGC 81  –

What are Standards?

Have you ever wondered how Standards come about? How and by whom they are written or agreed? What is their legal status and what is the relationship between them? In this brief article I hope to throw some light on the Standardisation process as it applies to electrical insulting materials in the UK context and hopefully answer some of these questions. (Following the links will provide further details about the organisations and committees referenced.)

The World Trade Organisation recognises and entrusts 2 organisations – The International Standards Organisation (ISO) and in the electrical and electronic fields of engineering, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

These two organisations oversee the development of common International Standards.

National organisations such as BSI in the UK coordinate Standards activity and provide a forum for Standards development in their respective countries. Where markets identify a need for standardisation, a committee of experts is formed with members representing the stakeholders which may be manufacturers, consumers, Government organisations, regulatory authorities or other interested groups.

Experts who sit on technical committees act as representatives of trade organisations or other recognised bodies. (Not as representatives of individual companies). In the case of Industrial laminates and tubes, Technical experts represent trade organisations such as the Electrical Insulation Organisation (EIA)

The nominated Technical experts help develop Standards in accordance with a set of rules which are set out in a British Standard BS0, which defines in detail the fundamental requirements for Standards development.

The vast majority of regional organisations around the world, including the EU, have agreed to adopt standards developed by IEC and ISO as common Standards. In the EU, this principal is enshrined in law. (This means that Standards developed as International Standards (IEC / ISO) take precedence over National Standards, unless there is a demonstrable technical or safety reason not to do so.

Within Europe, the European Standards Commission CEN and CENELEC  oversee the development and publication of Common European Standards (EN’s). In practice the vast majority of ISO and IEC standards developed internationally are subject to parallel voting within Europe and the Standards become European Standards (EN) at the same time as they are approved as International Standards. In the case of Industrial laminates. IEC 60893 is technically identical to EN 60893 which is technically identical to BSEN 60893.  Similarly the German Standard DIN 60893 and the French Standard NF 60893 are all technically identical.

If you are thinking this whole process sounds very complicated, you wouldn’t be far off the mark. I have not even mentioned the actual process of standards development at his stage.

So just how do these Standards come about in the first place? Firstly, a need for standardisation is identified. This may be on safety grounds, it may relate to materials and their properties, test methods and limit values, the need for common practice or standardised processes, or one of a myriad of other areas where business, markets, safety, consumer interests would benefit from a standardised approach.

In general I will try to describe the process as it applies to electrical insulating materials but the approach is similar across the board.

Proposals are put forward at National level, normally via trade organisations or other official bodies. There has to be a sound business case for producing a Standard before work is carried out as described above. In the UK, proposals are made to BSI, who determine which Technical Committee is responsible for that particular area of standardisation – in the case of electrical insulating materials / industrial laminates and tubes, this is committee GEL/15/6.

The panel experts consider the proposal, normally discussing with the proposer and other interested parties and giving consideration to existing publications to ensure no conflict or duplication.

If it is agreed that there is a viable business case / need for a new or revised document, a recommendation to develop a new standard or amend an existing publication is made to the parent committee. (GEL 15 in the case of solid insulating materials.)

If progression is agreed, BSI formally presents a new work proposal to either the IEC or ISO for discussion at the next meeting of the relevant technical committee. (or in exceptional circumstances may ask the UK committee to develop the Standard.) The BSI committees mirror those of IEC and IEC so any proposal emanating from BSI GEL 15 would eventually be directed to IEC TC15.

IF the IEC committee agree to develop the new work proposal the process is undertaken by the experts on the committee working groups. The elements of the process are, review of the initial proposal, development of a committee draft, Voting draft, Draft International Standard and eventual publication as an International Standard. Typically this process takes around 3 years as National Committees review and comment and / or vote on the proposed document at each stage of development.

All being well, an International Standard (IEC or ISO) comes out at the other end, which is subject to dual voting in Europe, and so becomes a European Standard (EN) which by default is also adopted as National Standard (BS, DIN, NF etc.)

Finally, what is the legal status of a Standard? You may be surprised to find that Standards in themselves have no legal standing, (except in the few cases where their application is required by law.) – They are designed for the convenience of those who wish to use them. They are often used however to specify products in business transactions and where a Standard is called up in a purchase contract, the requirements of the Standard may become part of purchaser / supplier contract which is legally enforceable.

Anyone interested in becoming involved in Standards development should contact their National Committee (in the UK that would be BSI). They would be pleased to discuss the possibilities with you and they are always keen to recruit new committee members.