What is the CAT5 safety test?
The Category 5 (CAT5) safety test, required by the latest adopted Code ASME A17.1 2016/CSA B44-16 in BC, ASME A17.1 2013/CSA B44-13 in Alberta involves setting up a full load in the car, running the car at rated speed and tripping the governor to prove the safety actuation. A recording of the stopping force is taken by measuring the slide marks on the rails.
Traditional Test Method
This conventional test method ensures that deprivation of components from the original design and installation has not happened and the system compliance is not affected. This method was the only workable method of ensuring code compliance throughout the life cycle of the elevator in North America and Canada.
Many of the original manufacturers consider this test destructive to the components as the test removes safety-shoe material or get damaged beyond repair and will require replacement. Another disadvantage is the cost, management and handling of the test weights themselves.
Alternative Test Method
Alternative testing methods, which has been in use for two decades in Europe, is now permitted by Code subject to approval of the local Safety Authority. The tools are reviewed by the Safety Authority and approved for testing of car and counterweight safeties, oil buffers, driving machine brakes, emergency brakes and traction braking system.
The alternative system consists of three major parts: a laptop computer with software, rope-tension measuring gauges with an output into the laptop and an accelerometer output into the laptop. This method will measure the forces and calculate the retardations. Unlike the conventional method this system provides a direct measurement of relevant elevator forces.
In addition to cost efficiency, the use of an alternative system that certifies equivalent results without the use of weights, eliminates the hazards linked with moving test weights and the wear and tear on the building and elevator system.