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Non-halogenated Plastic Gains Ground in Wiring

Non-halogenated Plastic Gains Ground in Wiring

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 watch lists.

Delphi is replacing PVC with the Sabic Innovative Plastics Noryl 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) scanner.

When extruding a dual-material layer over a solid center conductor, pinholes and breakaways occurred, and the solution was hard to strip and prep.

"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 electronics.

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.

Nonhalogenated Plastic Gains Ground in Wiring
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