Introduced six years ago, a flexible polyphenylene oxide/polystyrene
polymer is steadily making
progress as a PVC replacement in wiring in major applications such as cars,
medical diagnostic equipment and telecommunications gear.
There is about a mile of wiring in a typical car today
and more than half of it is coated with PVC, a material on some environmental
Delphi is replacing PVC with the Sabic Innovative
PPO/PS materials in ultra-thin-wall cable insulation that reduces weight by up
to 25 percent and reduces mass to allow more vehicle content in the same space.
"The new resin that Sabic Innovative Plastics developed
for Delphi has enabled us to go to market with an automotive cable that not
only supports environmental initiatives and meets our customer's needs for a
better alternative to current offerings, but also provides inherent advantages
in mass and bundle size," says Lynn Long, business line manager for Specialty
Wiring, Delphi Packard.
Samtec, a manufacturer of high-performance, precision
data cable based in New Albany, IN, is now producing a new ribbonized data rate
cable assembly with a coating of 0.005 inch for a Computed Tomography (CT)
When extruding a dual-material layer over a solid center
conductor, pinholes and breakaways occurred, and the solution was hard to strip
"Due to our difficulties with this dual-material approach
and our desire to eliminate chlorine, we sought a better alternative," says Ian
Smethurst, business development manager for Samtec. "Our requirements also
included the ability to produce very thin coatings, flame retardance that would
comply with requirements for non-halogenated parts, and ease of stripping and
prepping. From a cost standpoint, we wanted to be able to run the replacement
coating material on our existing extrusion and ribbonizing equipment."
Most potential replacements were highly filled,
precluding use of the company's extrusion equipment. Instead, the company
turned to flexible Noryl.
LTK Industries, a Hong Kong-based wire and cable OEM, is
using flexible Noryl in appliance wiring material applications used in consumer
The OEM says that flexible PPO resin surpasses other
non-halogenated materials, including thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and
polyethylene (PE), with an excellent balance of mechanical properties,
flexibility and color retention. It is also recyclable in the original
extrusion manufacturing process while retaining a high level of mechanical
performance. LTK required high-end performance, including excellent tensile
strength and elongation, flexibility, heat aging, cold bending and aesthetics.
Noryl is widely used in japan for power cord applications
using three Flexible Noryl resin grades.
Automakers are on the prowl for lighter weight materials to make vehicles less heavy and more fuel efficient, and Nanosteel is one of the companies hoping to take advantage of this opportunity with their lightweight automotive steel of the same name.
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