Interesting Aspects of Specialty Cables with Silicones by Detlef Klingberg
Over the past decades, silicones have emerged to become a key material serving the needs of the transmission and distribution industry. In fact, there has been a clear trend towards replacing older technologies, such as glass and porcelain, with high-consistency and liquid silicone rubbers. For example, long rod and hollow-core composite insulators and arresters are increasingly made using silicone elastomers. In addition, silicone high voltage insulator coatings are used to give ceramic and glass insulators the pollution performance advantages that silicone has to offer. Similarly, manufacture of high-tech cable accessories also demands a fine-tuned portfolio of insulating, semi-conductive and conductive silicone elastomer products. For the wire and cable industry, silicone elastomers feature benefits such as outstanding heat resistance, excellent electrical properties, high-speed extrusion capability and flexibility of the final product. One application that has emerged in recent years is use of silicone rubber compounds for fabrication of fire safety cable products that survive a fire for a certain time while maintaining electrical circuits in a building to help ensure safe evacuation. This presentation reviews current international standards for fire safe cables and discusses the mode of action and advantages of silicone for this and other cable-related applications.