A manufacturer must provide samples of each different cord set configuration to the designated test facility for UL/CSA. With the submission of each configuration, the supplier must provide a bill of materials that identifies each component part of the whole cord set. As an example, the cordage, the resin used to mold the male/female receptacles, the ground contacts and blades, and strain relief configuration. The suppliers of each of these components that make up a complete cord set, must also have UL/CSA approvals, and have gone through testing programs.
Once the finished cord set is sent to UL/CSA for testing, the cord set is subject to the following tests that might include the following.
1. Pull Test - The cord set is placed in an oven for seven days @ 100 deg. C. Then, a weight is applied to test the “pull out” strength of the blade/contact assembly
2. Strain Relief - An 18 AWG cord set is subjected to a 30 lb. dead weight attached to the strain relief to see if it separates from the cord.
3. Additional Testing: Flex Test, Dielectric Voltage Test Blade pull test at elevated temperatures.
Once the testing is approved, the cord sets, bill of material/components become part of a UL/CSA file, assigned a number, and become part of the record.
An unannounced quarterly visit by a UL/CSA field inspector at the manufacturer’s facility examines the component part list in production, and verifies that the cord set being manufactured meets the UL/CSA file that was approved. This avoids the potential of a manufacturer to substitute inferior contacts, resin, or cordage to improve margin, while bypassing the “tested” cord set.