Strong like Thermosets

Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 by Kimberly Versaw

Last, but not least of the insulation material groups is Thermosets. Unlike thermoplastics, thermoset materials do not melt when heated, they become stronger. The cross-linked poloymers allow thermosets to have this strength compared to thermoplastics.  Thermo=heat, Set=fixed.  Thermosets tend to be more flexible at lower and room temperatures and have the physical appearance of being limp and lay flat. The most common thermosets in wire and cable are listed below:

Styrene-Butadiene Rubber (SBR): This is a synthetic rubber that possesses excellent abrasion resistance and electrical characteristics. SBR decomposes when exposed to oil, ozone and weather. It has an operating temperature range of -55°C to 90°C and is highly flammable, unless flame-retardants are added.

Polychloroprene: This compound is a synthetic rubber and possesses better characteristics than SBR.  Polychloroprene is known primarily for its resistance to weathering, aging, heat, wear and tear, water, and other chemicals.  It has an operating temperature range of -55°C to 90°C.

Chlorinated Polyethylene (CPE): CPE has great properties similar to polyethylene such as resistances to chemicals, oils, heat, abrasion, and weathering.

Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene (CSPE): Chlorosulfonated polyethylene is primarily used as a jacket material. It works well in harsh environments, such as those encountered in the industrial and mining industries. It provides good abrasion, heat, moisture, and ozone resistance.

Silicone: Used as both insulation and a jacket, Silicone has an operating temperature range of -65°C to 200°C. It provides good abrasion, oil and heat resistance. It is commonly used as insulation on spark plug wires or as a jacket on power and control cables, where the cables need to be isolated from there surrounding environment.


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