When buying power cables, you often see acronyms like: PE, PVC, XLPE but never understand it. PE, PVC, XLPE are common insulating materials in the production of electric wires and cables.
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Safety is one of the most important factors in the production of electric wires and cables and the use of electricity. The materials used need to meet certain quality requirements such as stability, safety, and durability. Insulating materials are similar, products put into use must meet the standards of:
Safe degree of insulation between phase conductors with minimal loss of electrical energy Maintains good and stable mechanical properties under standard operating conditions Maintains stability of mechanical and electrical properties during use Wide range of service temperatures Chemically neutral making them resistant to chemicals
And have you ever learned about current insulating materials? Let’s join Tran Phu Electrical Engineering to add more knowledge about insulating materials: PE, PVC, XLPE through this article.
Electrical wire products using PVC insulation
PVC is the most commonly used thermoplastic insulator for electrical wires and cables. PVC stands out for its flexibility, low cost, high strength and availability in the market. They are water resistant and fire retardant to a certain extent, so they are commonly used in electrical wire and cable sheaths.
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However, PVC has one major limitation: The chlorine in PVC (a halogen) will produce black smoke, which is toxic when burned and can be a health hazard in enclosed spaces (such as tunnels).
PE – Polyethylene
PE is proven to have outstanding characteristics that are very good for use as an insulating material: Good electrical insulation – Good mechanical properties and stability
PE is commonly found in the construction of electrical materials for low voltage cables. However, because PE does not perform well in environments with temperatures above 70°C, it is generally not used in high temperature environments.
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XLPE – Cross-Linked Polyethylene
Structure of low voltage twisted-pair cable of Tran Phu
XLPE (short for Cross-Linked Polyethylene) has different chains of polyethylene that are linked and secured in chemical reactions, helping to prevent the polymer from melting or separating at elevated temperatures. As a result, XLPE is suitable for use in high temperature applications.
Thanks to the characteristics obtained from the stitching process, XLPE possesses outstanding characteristics compared to other popular insulating materials:
Long-term durability and service life, Long-term high temperature resistance and deformation resistance High temperature short-circuit current (250°C) Good electrode properties over a wide working temperature range Water and limit resistance Good permeability Very good chemical resistance Does not contain halogen gas – the cause of toxic fumes that cause asphyxiation and block visibility in the event of a fire