Insulation has always been part of the cable structure. Insulation is important to protect the wire from direct contact with the environment and to provide material resistance to the flow of electricity. It prevents electricity leakage both inside and out while preserving the integrity of the cable.
It is also the part of a cable that has seen considerable development through history. From cloth wrapped wires to PVC coated cables — cable insulation has come a long way. Today it is the PVC cables manufacturers who are seeing high demand as PVC cables become increasingly popular across various sectors.
PVC cables fall in the composite plastic category. The different types of insulations here are:
Polyethylene or PE has exceptional electrical qualities. The insulation allows us to reduce the dielectric constant, which makes it suitable for high-speed transmission. It is cross-linked to enhance its ability to withstand soldering, cracking and cut-through. Its operating temperature ranges between -65°C to 80°C. It is used in low capacitance and coaxial cables. On the negative side, PE is flammable. Although we can counter this by adding additives, it brings down PE’s biggest advantage — its dielectric constant. It is also inflexible, hard and stiff.
Similar to polyethylene, polypropylene has a wider operating temperature, ranging from -30°C to 105°C.Polypropylene is used for thin insulation. Polyurethane is preferred because of its flexibility and high resistance. It can withstand highly corrosive environments including elements like moisture, chemicals and abrasions. It is also extremely tough with a high flex life. It retains its flex property even in low temperatures. This makes it suitable for many applications, including use in corrosive environments where the cable has to be coiled or retracted when not in use. However, it has poor electrical properties, suitable only as a cable jacket. It is also flammable.
With high resistance to oil, heat and weather conditions, Chlorinated Polyethylene can be used in diverse environments. One of its biggest advantages is its higher resistance to fire. This is why Chlorinated Polyethylene is used in power plants. It is also considered quite affordable when compared to PVC insulation.
Also known as PVC, this is one of the most commonly found cable insulations because of its ease of use, affordability and wide applicability. It also has a high resistance to many aggressive corrosives, including oil, acids, solvents, and ozone. The operating temperature ranges between -55°C to 105°C. PVC cables manufacturers make both thick and thin-walled insulations.
However, it should be noted that PVC does not fare well in flexibility and flex life, especially in lower temperatures. If used as a jacket, it can cause capacitance loss. But PVC’s neutrality in many environments is one of its biggest strength. It is even used in medical and food industry because of its non-toxicity.
Used mainly as a primary insulation, the semi-rigid PVC has better flexibility than PVC. It retains PVC’s high resistance to environmental factors like heat, flames, acid and alkali.
Plenum Polyvinyl Chloride:
Also known as Plenum PVC, Plenum Polyvinyl Chloride gets its name because it is safe to use in plenum areas or meets stricter fire safety regulations.
Nylon is usually used as a jacket. The tough material can withstand strong abrasions and withstand corrosives like chemicals. Nylon is even effective in thin-walled applications. It is also very flexible. However, nylon absorbs moisture, which affects its electrical properties.
Thermoplastic Rubber, Neoprene, Styrene Butadiene Rubber, Silicone, Fiberglass, Ethylene Propylene Rubber, Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene, and Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. Most of the rubbers used by cable manufacturers today are thermoset. This includes Thermoplastic Rubber, Neoprene, and Styrene Butadiene Rubber. These insulations are known for their resistance to a number of abrasive and corrodes elements. Fiberglass is even capable of withstanding high heat.
This category includes PFA, Polytetrafluoroethylene, Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene, ETFE Tefzel and ECTFE Halar, Polyvinylidene Fluoride,and Thermoplastic Elastomers. Fluoropolymers have some unique properties, including improved data transmission. The Fluoropolymers were developed for specific purpose like improving telecommunication.
If you are looking for specific solutions, contact a PVC cables manufacturer. Apart from this popular insulating material, you can also get many other options.