TPE replaces PVC in cable sheathing
For cable manufacturers and suppliers in the IT and entertainment electronics sector, Kraiburg TPE has developed special halogen-free and flame-resistant TPE compounds that meet the stringent flame-resistance requirements of the relevant European and US standards.
“In the event of fire, PVC sheathing can cause serious harm to health. Cable manufacturers and OEM in the electronics industry who are aware of their responsibilities in relation to health and safety can now avail of a real alternative to this potentially hazardous material", explains Franz Hinterecker, Managing Director of the company based in Waldkraiburg.
The new compounds conform to the European RoHS directive and contain no hazardous ingredients. They are thus free of heavy metals and organic halogen compounds such as PBB or PBDE.
The company said that it has already found customers for its innovative technology. Together with number of cable manufacturers,it has developed a TPE-based halogen-free flame retardant or HFFR cable that is available in the market since early 2009. The sheathing material made from the new TPE successfully passed the VW-1 vertical flame test. This test was passed with minimum layer thicknesses, proving the excellent fire safety of the material.
In addition to outstanding flame resistance, the new compound has a number of other properties that meet the specific requirements of the IT and entertainment electronics manufacturers. They include very high tensile strength as well as excellent flexibility and surface quality. "To achieve high flame resistance on the one hand and good strength and surface properties on the other was a balancing act. We mastered this challenge by using a halogen-free intumescence flame retardation system that is compatible with the polymer matrix. This compound is added in quantities that are much lower than those normally used with conventional halogen-free flame retardants. In order to produce the new TPE in large quantities with the necessary process safety, we also needed to adapt the extrusion process", explains Dr. Markus Beitzel, Director of Product Technology. Thanks to the compatibility of the flame retardation system with the polymer matrix and the excellent surface proprieties, the compound can be extruded at high speeds on standard polyolefin cable extruders.