Compounding World (AMI industry magazine) underlines fire performance and material flexibility as key wire & cable industry developments. Cable polymer compounds expect ongoing growth at 4% per year, especially in Extra High Voltage cables, submarine cables (for offshore renewable energy) and fibre optic network cables, with an ongoing move away from PVC to Low Smoke Zero Halogen / Low Smoke Flame Retardant (LS0H LSFR), both in Europe and in Asia, if less so in North America. Revision of the EU Construction Products Regulation is expected to lead to demand to new formulations with higher LOI (limiting oxygen index). Industry developments include innovation in cross-linking of cable compounds, to combine fire performance, cable flexibility and heat resistance and new compounding processes, such as underwater compounders, to improve component reactions and final product purity. Perspectives from leading companies in extrusion, compounding, cables and cable compound or component suppliers are cited: Buss, Borealis, Borouge, Hexpol, Lubrizol, TeknorApex, Padanaplast, BASF and Magnafin. All of these companies offer non-halogenated (PIN) flame retardant cable solutions.
“Fire and flexibility top cable industry developments”, M. Holmes, Compounding World (AMI), May 2020 www.compoundingworld.com