Above: Borealis

developed its HE1355 grade for ADAC-free production of foamed

telecom cable insulation

include a new laboratory machine based on the Compeo technology. This machine, with an expect- ed output of 50-100 kg/h, will be suitable for process development, formulation optimisation, as well as small batch production. In addition, there are plans for a machine with a screw diameter of 176 mm, which will allow an output of close to 10 tonnes/h.

Right: Borlink XLPE from Borealis is used in this 525kV XLPE cable produced by NKT

Firing up materials In the materials area, Borealis and Borouge recently launched FR8101 to expand their existing portfolio of flame-retardant (FR) jacketing grades. This new, halogen-free solution is based on metal hydrate technology and is intended for production of low voltage building cables used in demanding environments. The companies say that FR8101 offers cable manufacturers a safer product with better performance while at the same time achieving increased production efficiency. Cable jacketing made with the FR8101 PE grade is claimed to exhibit a reduced tendency to form flaming droplets, which is a potential contributor to fire spreading within buildings where cables are installed inside walls and roofs. Depending on the specific cable construction, FR8101 can achieve the best possible rating of ‘d0’ in the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) Euroclass scale for flaming droplets. This highest level of flame retardancy makes it possible for cable industry partners to fulfil the stringent CPR cable standards in Europe when using FR8101. According to Borealis, cable manufacturers have faced process- ing limitations when using conven- tional halogen-free flame-retardant (HFFR) cable compounds. For example, material decomposition during the extrusion process can mean lower production speeds and inferior cable performance.


The use of FR8101 is said to eliminate these issues and allows cable makers to run production lines at high speeds. When used with the Visico/Ambicat XLPE system, the new grade can allow customers to fulfil CPR requirements without having to use other FR insulation or bedding. Borealis says this means more efficient processing but also results in lighter cable designs that are easier to install. Borealis has also launched HE1355, which it claims is the first high density polyethylene (HDPE) foaming solution for production of telecommunica- tion cables that is free of azodicarbonamide (ADCA). The HE1355 has been developed to allow cable manufacturers to bypass issues arising from the planned inclusion of ADCA on the EU’s Annex XIV of REACH (Authorisation List). This would require producers, converters, and other down- stream users to seek special temporary permission for the use of the substance in production. Borealis says HE1355 matches the technical performance of other chemically-foamed HDPE grades currently on the market. Like the company’s current HE1345 and HE1344 grades, it is said to offer good processability and stabilisation, as well as providing the required toughness for fast multi-pair assembly. The optimal cell structure of HE1355 makes it suitable for applications such as foam or foam-skin insulation for telephone singles and data cables with a typical expansion of 35-40%, as well as for dry core and petroleum jelly-filled cables.

HVDC application In a further cable application, a high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable compound based on Borealis Borlink technology is being used in XLPE power cables qualified for the tender of the ‘German corridor projects’. This undertaking will transport renewable energy from wind farms off the north coast of Germany to the country’s southern areas. Borlink LS4258DCE unfilled XLPE insulation compound and the HVDC Borlink LE0550DC semicon combination was initially launched in 2014. The company says it enabled the use of extruded cable technol- ogy at significantly higher voltage and transmission levels than ever before and paved the way for XLPE extruded technology to transmit renewable energy from remote sources to the grid. Borealis also points to the

recyclability of XLPE, saying that XLPE cable production waste and redundant cable insulation can be



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