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LSZH USB Cable Assemblies
(Tuesday, November 20, 2012)
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LSZH USB Cable Assemblies
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Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) USB Cable Assemblies
View from a cockpit in a B-105 helicopter; sxc.hu: Cockpit

The term LSZH refers to the material that a cable's outer jacket is made of.  Most commercially available cable assemblies have an outer jacket made from polyvinyl chloride, or PVC for short.  It is a durable, flexible plastic material perfect for most general applications.  If you were to buy a deluxe or premium USB cable, that is the type of jacket it would have.

For all of its benefits, PVC does have some downsides, the biggest of which is the way it burns.  Once PVC has caught fire, it typically burns freely for a long while and releases some toxic gasses in the process.  In a building fire, the danger is that flames can burn along the cable jackets behind a wall and leap from room to room or floor to floor.  But, in most building fires the toxic gasses are not a big factor since occupants can get outside, and since USB cable is rarely run behind a wall, most manufacturers Flammability and Toxicity Ratings on Different Cable Typesdon't bother making them with non-PVC jackets.

But building fires are not the only situation that can occur.  Military and aerospace applications add another element to the danger: the people can't always just get outside.  In fact, any application where people are working in close proximity with cable assemblies and cannot easily get ventilation in the event of a fire requires a special jacket material for the cables.

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USB with LSZH Jackets Off-the-Shelf
Latching USB Drawing

The USB standard is used in nearly any peripheral-to-computer application, including many in military and aerospace environments.  Though USB is not often run behind a wall, having many PVC USB cables can lead to a dangerous situation.  For that reason, L-com has made LSZH USB cables an off-the-shelf product, available for same-day shipping.

Standard LSZH USB cables are constructed similarly to the premium line of USB cables: they have 20 AWG power conductors for maximum power transfer, and they have 30 micro inches of gold on the contacts to ensure reliable connections through multiple mating cycles.  Along with the standard cables, L-com also carries a line of its "latching" USB cables with LSZH jackets.  These cables have small latches in the Type A connectors that lock the connector in place.  This is especially valuable in high-vibration environments such as a military vehicle or a device that is meant to be carried over rough terrain.

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Custom LSZH USB Cable Assemblies
Low smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) USB Revision 2.0 Compliant Bulk Cable

On top of the finished cable assemblies in multiple lengths available off-the-shelf, L-com stocks spools of bulk USB cable with the LSZH jacket.  This allows you to buy just the bulk cable to make your own assemblies to your requirements, or
L-com can custom manufacture cables from the bulk.  The Type A and Type B connectors and LSZH hoods are all available off-the-shelf.


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