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News

Borealis delivers low cost high quality solution for 1kV cable insulation

Borealis A/S : 14 April, 2002  (New Product)
Borealis, the leading global supplier of polyethylene materials to the wire and cable industry, has seen growing success of its unique Visico/Ambicat copolymer and catalyst system for low voltage insulation. Visico, a scorch-retardant, moisture curable, ethylene-vinyl silane copolymer, has experienced a significant market acceptance since its introduction over 10 years ago.
The product range was complemented in 2000 with the development of Borealis' Ambicat, a tin-free catalyst masterbatch that enables Visico crosslinking at ambient temperature.

Designed for 1kV underground, overhead and industrial cables, the Visico/Ambicat system simplifies cable production and reduces costs because the products can be extruded on a standard single screw machine designed for PE or PVC extrusion. Subsequent crosslinking is effected by the influence of atmospheric moisture at ambient temperature.

Moisture curable polyethylene, usually by water or steam bath immersion, has become the material of choice for production of 90C rated cables. The crosslinks improve most of the material's properties and make it impossible for the insulation to become liquefied; instead a rubber-like behaviour is exhibited when the polymer's melting point is exceeded.

Therefore, crosslinking brings improved power transmission safety because these cables are much less sensitive to heat damage caused by short circuits or power excursions.

However, the advantage offered by Visico/Ambicat is that it requires no separate curing operation, and crosslinking takes place in a fraction of the time required by other materials. Visico is processed in the same way as conventional thermoplastic polyethylene of similar viscosity.

The scorch retardant additive in Visico allows long production runs without pre-crosslinking occurring in the extruder. And, because the material exhibits no die drool, continuous extrusion for two to three weeks is possible even with short line stops, to allow tooling change for example, without the need to clean the extruder. Consequently, Visico/Ambicat can deliver simplified and faster processing, increased productivity and a reduction in scrap material.

The Visico/Ambicat is an environmentally friendly polyolefin based system and does not require special handling or storage. The active catalyst in Ambicat is frequently used in surface-active products and is readily biodegradable. These factors have a positive impact on working conditions and investment costs, as well as resulting in a lower burden on the environment.
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