Cracking is no joke

“A customer complaint, rather than being disruptive, often serves as a springboard for achieving a safer, better product."   

   Cracking is no joke

 
 

Cracking is no joke

Cracking is no joke

Cracking is no joke

 


 

Tight places

Anyone who has had to forcibly bend rigid cable into tight places could appreciate the problem of cracking when the cable is later energized, which can lead to dangerous short circuits. A new Halogen-Free Flame (or Fire)-Retardant rigid multicore energy cable using a polyolefin-based compound sheath over a highly flame-retardant bedding compound eliminates this risk.

 

Invisible danger

The problem of cracking is not always detected because many cables are bent inside conduits or ducts and are thus invisible to the eye. Failures could appear much later, especially when water starts to seep into the now cracked outer sheath, thus limiting cable life.


 
Down the line, down the mine

This solution was tailor-made for customers who needed to bend rigid HFFR conductors into tight spaces and structures, like Chile’s highway tunnel substations and in copper mines.

 

Bitter complaint bears fruit

The new design began with a customer complaint which led us to analyze the cause of sheath cracking when cables were installed. Thermal cycle testing for the IEC 60502-2 standard does not incorporate a tight bend in the test circuit; so we decided to do so. This brought to light the cracks that the customer had observed. The next step was to replace the Ethyl Vinyl Acetate or EVA-based thermoplastic high HFFR compound outer sheath by a polyolefin-based compound sheath which fully resolved the problem. From initial complaint to the first prototypes coming off the production line took a record two weeks.

 

Triples extrusion speed

With this design, we continue to meet our standards, and can also triple the speed of our sheathing extrusion line.