Halogen Free Flame Retardant (HFFR) materials, alternative to PVC, for Cable application

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In industrial Low Voltage Cable and in Building Wire, PVC has increasingly been replaced with halogen free flame retardant materials (HFFR) during the last decade because of environmental and safety reasons.

In case of fire, PVC generates dark smoke, toxic and corrosive gas. In those applications where there is not an obligation, HFFR use is limited by the higher costs of raw materials and difficult processability.  Copper price has been at its highest value during the last several years, and since the conductor is the most significant element on the total cable costs, the different cable cost, PVC vs HFFR, would be negligible, and so HFFR will be the favorite. There are many HFFR compounds commercially available nowadays: the availability of a cheap compound that is easy to process, both in compounding and extrusion phase, certainly gives a significant competitive advantage.

R&D innovAction has developed its own formulations to offer all these advantages.

  • Objective: Development of an easily processable, low cost compound for industrial cable jacketing 0,6/1.0 kV, G7M1 type, and equivalent applications complying with the different international specifications.
  • Activity and Results:

- First phase - laboratory formulation development. Qualified laboratory structures, specializing in compounding and material characterization, were selected to develop the formulations. The compounds satisfy both economic and technical requirements, according to the reference specifications.

- Second phase - prototype compound production. Several compound tests have been carried out utilizing different technological equipment.  Compounds were selected based on their performance in order to evaluate the technology most suited to reduce the investment cost/productivity ratio. A group of solutions able to satisfy the objectives has been identified.  It is important to note that the solutions using the cheapest technology have given nevertheless very interesting results both in productivity and in quality.

- Third phase - product industrialization: Industrial activities at several different customers’ operational structures are in progress; an agreement will be finalized for the production and commercialization of compounds.