Industry Outlook

Indian Standard 1554 was adopted by the Bureau of Indian Standards on 25th July 1998, proceeding to finalization by the Power Cables Sectional Committee which had been approved by the Electrotechnical Division Council. 

With the experience, it can be reflected that there is a potential to use PVC insulated cables for the voltage grades covered by this standard, in place of paper-insulated lead-sheathed cables.

The mentioned standard was adopted in 1970 and revised in 1981. The need of meeting the specifications for PVC insulated heavy-duty electrical cables is mandatory due to the absence of the metallic sheath and the possible loss of electrical contact between stands of adjacent wires/stripes of armoring as a result of corrosion or the presence of compound between them or both.

These cables are primarily used in construction sites, electric connections, factories, and other purposes. Therefore, keeping the public interest and safety in view, it is mandatory to obtain a BIS certification to sell or distribute PVC-insulated heavy-duty electrical cables to ensure safety and reliability.

As a result of which, mentioned cables have to undergo specific tests in accordance with IS 1554. For a better understanding of why product testing is essential, let’s move to the next section.

Why is Product Testing Crucial | Importance of Product Testing

  • One of the most critical purposes of testing is the quality assurance of a product that reflects high quality, safety, and reliability.
  • Product testing allows the manufacturer to ensure conformance with established technical standards to produce high-quality and safe products.
  • Build reputation and maximize the profit, considering that a tested product indicates quality assurance. 
  • Helps in retaining customers, thus, providing a competitive edge.
  • It helps in understanding distinct types of stress a product can endure, be it in case of weather, wear tear, and other conditions.
  • In the initial prototyping stage, if you are trying to avail investment in order to manufacture your product in mass quantities, a tested product can allow you to achieve patent and investors as it shows the quality and functionality of the product.

With the benefits of product testing, we can clearly estimate how testing ensures quality assurance and product credibility.

Since, it has been established how essential product testing is, now let’s move to the benefits of complying with standards.

What Are the Benefits of Complying With Standards?

Complying with standards offers numerous benefits to manufacturers and importers of the product, which further helps in building trustworthiness and reliability, thus retaining the customers.

Why, don’t we look at other benefits of the same -

  • A certified product acts as a shield against penalties and fines which could be imposed for not certifying a product.
  • A certified product serves as evidence that a product has been tested and certified as per prescribed standards.
  • A certified product provides a sense of security and safety to the consumers, thus ensuring easy acceptance.
  • It provides a competitive advantage over competitors.
  • Easy market acceptance as a product is tested and certified.
  • Confirm the unmatched quality standards.
  • Seamless to file government tenders.

With these benefits of ensuring conformance with IS 1554 standards and specifications, a manufacturer can establish that a product is safe, reliable, and credible, thus, confirming unmatched quality standards. 

Now, in the next section, we will learn about test requirements and product scope of the IS 1554.

Product Scope

IS 1554 standard (Part 2) covers the requirements of the following categories of PVC insulated and PVC sheathed power cables for electrical supply.

The cables included under IS 1554 are appropriate to use for one single phase or three phase (earthed or unearthed) systems for rated voltages up to and including 3.3 kV upto and including 11kV.

Types of cables -

  • Single-core unscreened, unarmoured but non-magnetic metallic tape covered
  • Single core screened, unarmoured
  • Single-core armored  non-magnetic), screened or unscreened
  • Three-core armored, screened or unscreened.

Moreover, this standard also includes cables using a combination of ambient temperature and temperature rise due to load results in a conductor temperature not exceeding 70°C under normal operation and 160°C under short-circuit conditions. 

Also, as mentioned above, these heavy duty armored cables are appropriate to use in mines, after ensuring conformance with additional requirements.

With the understanding of the product scope of IS 1554, let’s move to the next section to understand testing requirements under the same.

Testing Requirements

1. Physical Test For Insulation and Sheath

The below-mentioned test will be conducted as applicable -

  • Tensile strength and elongation at break
  • Aging in air oven
  • Aging in air bomb
  • Ageing in oxygen bomb
  • Hot set
  • Oil resistance
  • Heat shock test of insulation and sheath 
  • Tear resistance
  • Loss of mass of insulation and sheath
  • Mass of zinc coating
  • Shrinkage test of insulation and sheath
  • Thermal stability
  • Water absorption (gravimetric) (for insulation, where applicable)

2. Type Test

Below mentioned test covered under type test of IS 4289 -

  • Persulphate test (for copper)
  • Annealing test (for copper) 
  • Tensile test (for aluminum)
  • Wrapping test (for aluminum)
  • Conductor resistance test
  • High voltage (water immersion) test
  • Insulation resistance test
  • Test for thickness of insulation and sheath and overall diameter

3. Dimension of Armor

4. Flammability Test

A flammability test will be performed, period of after removal of the flame shall not exceed 60 seconds the unaffected (uncharted) portion from the lower edge of the top damp shall be at least 50 mm.

5. High Voltage Test

High voltage test includes two types of testing as mentioned below -

  1. Type or acceptance test

The cables under this standard must withstand without breakdown an AC voltage equal to 3 Uo but below the value given in the below mentioned table when applied to the sample between conductor and screen/metallic tape/armor (and between conductors in case of unscreened cables). 

Moreover, the value must increase gradually to a particular value and be maintained for a duration of four hours. 

  1. Routine test

The cables must withstand without any failure the AC test voltages as provided below, when applied for a period of 5 minutes for each test connection -

6. Resistance, conductance armor

If cables are being used for the purpose of mining the resistance of armor shall not exceed that of the conductor as specified in IS: 8130-1984 by more than 33 percent.

7. Thickness of insulation and sheath

The average thickness of insulation and sheath must not be below, as mentioned in the table below -

8. Physical Test For Round or Formed Wires

Below mentioned tests are involved in physical tests for round or formed wires -

  • Tensile strength
  • Elongation at break
  • Torsion test for round wire
  • Winding test for formed wires
  • Uniformity of zinc coating
  • Mass of zinc coating
  • Resistivity

How We Help Ensuring Conformance With IS 1554 Part-2 Specifications?

  • We will educate you concerning every aspect of IS 1554 Part 2.
  • We will check whether a product falls under the purview of BIS or not, including whether a product complies with the BIS standards or not, then, after mutual understanding, the project will move forward. 
  • There is no better place to obtain it than JR Compliance because we will analyze the product requirements to give clear guidelines.
  • JR Compliance has experienced expert professionals, who can assist you in the documentation, evaluation, and examination.
  • We are equipped with the necessary resources to conduct a virtual pre-audit to confirm whether your manufacturing unit and production process are complying with provided specifications or not. 
  • JR Compliance will schedule a meeting with the BIS officer for a factory audit.
  • If you lack an in-house testing facility, we will help you in setting up one.
  • We will coordinate with a BIS accredited laboratory for product testing.
  • You can expect reliable and punctual service delivery as we will also visit the BIS office on your behalf if required.
  • We invest our sustained efforts to meet the startled queries or demands of BIS.
  • In case of any concern, we assure to provide the finest solution.


IS 1554 Part 2, an Indian Standard applicable to electrical cables, which are usually used in the Mining industry and metro industries, is one of the major contributors to our economic development. Considering that, it is not only mandatory but necessary to ensure conformance with specifications mentioned in IS 1554 Part 2 with the purpose to introduce your product in the Indian market.

Keeping the importance of conformance with compliance in mind, we - JR Compliance, a leading compliance service provider are equipped with experts and resources to provide you with above and beyond support to obtain a BIS certificate.

Till now, we have experience in providing compliance assistance to over 10,000+ global leaders such as Toray, Bombay Dyeing, Softbank, and others.

For details, get in touch with our experts.