Cable Insulation Material Properties

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

A PVC jacket is a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use material, with the potential to be used in diverse applications. The maximum temperature range is -55°C to 105°C and is flame, moisture, and abrasion resistant. It also holds up against gasoline, ozone, acids, and solvents.1 It can also be used for medical and food related purposes as it is odorless, tasteless, and non-toxic. PVC jackets can be used in both heavy and thin wall applications. PVC should not be used when flexibility and an extended flex life are required at low temperatures. When used in retractile cord applications, it also shows below average flexibility. PVC jackets display high attenuation and capacitance loss, meaning that power is lost when used in an electrical system.

Semi-Rigid PVC (SR-PVC)

This is mainly used as a primary insulation and is very abrasion resistant. (For 30-16 gauge, a 10 mil. wall meets UL style 1061, 80°C, 300 volts.) Semi-Rigid PVC is also heat, water, acid, and alkali resistant, as well as flame retardant.

Polyethylene (PE)

This compound is used mostly in coaxial and low capacitance cables because of its exemplary electric qualities. Many times it is used in these applications because it is affordable and can be foamed to reduce the dielectric constant to 1.50, making it an attractive option for cables requiring high-speed transmission. Polyethylene can also be cross-linked to produce high resistance to cracking, cut-through, soldering, and solvents. Polyethylene can be used in temperatures ranging from -65°C to 80°C. All densities of Polyethylene are stiff, hard, and inflexible. The material is also flammable. Additives can be used to make it flame retardant, but this will sacrifice the dielectric constant and increase power loss.

Polyurethane (PUR)

Polyurethane is known for its extreme toughness, flexibility, and flex life, even in low temperatures. It also has excellent ratings for chemical, water, and abrasion resistance. This material works well in retractile cord applications and can be a good option for salt-spray and low-temperature military purposes. Polyurethane is a flammable material. The flame retardant version sacrifices strength and surface finish. Polyurethane’s main disadvantage though, is its poor electrical properties, making it suitable for s only.

Polypropylene (PP)

This material is very similar to Polyethylene, but has a wider temperature range of -30°C to 105°C. It is used primarily for thin wall primary insulations. Polypropylene can be foamed to improve its electrical properties.

Silicone

This material is extremely heat resistant and flame retardant and can be used in temperatures up to 180°C. It is moderately abrasion resistant. Silicone is also extremely flexible. Benefits include a long storage life and good bonding properties necessary in many electrical applications.

Ethylene Propylene Rubber (EPR)

EPR is known for its excellent thermal characteristics and1 electrical properties, allowing a smaller cross-sectional area for the same load carrying capacity of other cables. It is commonly used in high-voltage cables. The flexibility of this material also makes it appropriate for temporary installations and applications in the mining industry. These rubbers are also valuable for their heat, oxidation, weathering, water, acid, alcohol, and alkali resistance. EPR can be used in the temperature range of -50°C to 160°C. EPR is not as tear resistant as other insulation options. It is also relatively soft and may require more care during installation to avoid damage.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

This synthetic rubber insulation displays outstanding heat, ozone, weather, and abrasion resistance. EPDM also exhibits excellent electrical properties. Further benefits include excellent flexibility at both high and low temperatures, from -55°C to 150°C, as well as good dielectric strength. EPDM replaces silicone rubber in some applications.

MATERIAL NAME SHORT VDE CODE DENSITY HALOGEN CONTENT HARDNESS TENSILE STRENGTH ELONGATION DIELECTRIC STRENGTH
g/cm3 % SHORE MPA % KV/MM
Polyvinyl chloride (plasticized) PVC-P Y 1.30–1.45 35 85A– 95A >10 >150 >10
Polyvinyl chloride, semi rigid SR-PVC Y 1.24–1.34 40 85A– 95A >15 >150 >10
Polyethylene PE 2Y 0.92– 0.95 0 50D– 62D >15 >300 >30
Polyamide PA 4Y 1.01 0 – /72D > 40 >300 >10
Tetrafluoroethylene hexafluoropropylene FEP 6Y 2.14 75 – /55D >15 >200 >30
Ethylen tetrafluoroethylene ETFE 7Y 1.70 60 – /75D >30 >200 >30
Polypropylene PP 9Y 0.91 0 – /70D >15 >200 >30
Polypropylene, flame-retardant PP-FR 9Y 1.05–1.3 10 – /70D >15 >200 >20
Perfluoroalkoxy copolymer PFA 51Y 2.15 75 – /55D >20 >200 >30
Polyvinylidenfluorid PVDF 10Y 1.8 35 –/78D >25 >100 >30
Thermoplastic polyether polyurethane TPE-U 11Y 1.12 0 85A– 54D >30 > 400 >10
Thermoplastic polyether ester elastomer TPE-E 12Y 1.16–1.25 0 40D–72D >25 > 400 >10
Thermoplastic polyester elastomer TPE-E 13Y 1.25–1.28 0 – /55D >30 >300 >10
Thermoplastic polystyrene block copolymer TPE-S 31Y 1.10–1.30 0–10 55D– 65D >15 >200 >10
Thermoplastic polyamide elastomer TPE-A 41Y 1.01–1.06 0 75A–70D >25 > 400 >10
Thermoplastic polyolefn elastomer TPE-O 91Y 0.95–1.25 0–10 87A/– >10 >300 >20
Ethylene vinyl acetate E/VA 4G 1.30–1.40 0 80A– 85A >7 >150 >10
Polyvinyl chloride, cross-linked PVC-X X 1.35 30 95A/– >10 >150 >10
Polyethylene, cross-linked (XLPE) PE-X 2X 1.1 10 95A/– >10 >200 >20
Polyethylene, cross-linked, halogen-free (XLPE) PE-X 2X 1.4 0 – /42D >10 >200 >10
MATERIAL NAME SHORT VDE CODE DENSITY HALOGEN CONTENT HARDNESS TENSILE STRENGTH ELONGATION DIELECTRIC STRENGTH
g/cm3 % SHORE MPA % KV/MM
Polyvinyl chloride (plasticized) PVC-P Y 1.30–1.45 35 85A– 95A >10 >150 >10
Polyvinyl chloride, semi rigid SR-PVC Y 1.24–1.34 40 85A– 95A >15 >150 >10
Polyethylene PE 2Y 0.92– 0.95 0 50D– 62D >15 >300 >30
Polyamide PA 4Y 1.01 0 – /72D > 40 >300 >10
Tetrafluoroethylene hexafluoropropylene FEP 6Y 2.14 75 – /55D >15 >200 >30
Ethylen tetrafluoroethylene ETFE 7Y 1.70 60 – /75D >30 >200 >30
Polypropylene PP 9Y 0.91 0 – /70D >15 >200 >30
Polypropylene, flame-retardant PP-FR 9Y 1.05–1.3 10 – /70D >15 >200 >20
Perfluoroalkoxy copolymer PFA 51Y 2.15 75 – /55D >20 >200 >30
Polyvinylidenfluorid PVDF 10Y 1.8 35 –/78D >25 >100 >30
Thermoplastic polyether polyurethane TPE-U 11Y 1.12 0 85A– 54D >30 > 400 >10
Thermoplastic polyether ester elastomer TPE-E 12Y 1.16–1.25 0 40D–72D >25 > 400 >10
Thermoplastic polyester elastomer TPE-E 13Y 1.25–1.28 0 – /55D >30 >300 >10
Thermoplastic polystyrene block copolymer TPE-S 31Y 1.10–1.30 0–10 55D– 65D >15 >200 >10
Thermoplastic polyamide elastomer TPE-A 41Y 1.01–1.06 0 75A–70D >25 > 400 >10
Thermoplastic polyolefin elastomer TPE-O 91Y 0.95–1.25 0–10 87A/– >10 >300 >20
Ethylene vinyl acetate E/VA 4G 1.30–1.40 0 80A– 85A >7 >150 >10
Polyvinyl chloride, cross-linked PVC-X X 1.35 30 95A/– >10 >150 >10
Polyethylene, cross-linked (XLPE) PE-X 2X 1.1 10 95A/– >10 >200 >20
Polyethylene, cross-linked, halogen-free (XLPE) PE-X 2X 1.4 0 – /42D >10 >200 >10

Values on the above table are generic and subject to change with additives, especially for the fire behaviour. Please ask for support through info@borsan.it if you need further assistance!