Nexans provides cable optimisation concept: powerful, flame-resistant and robust,even in a humid environment

New sheath mixture for underground cables and leads in low, medium and high-voltage applications

Hanover, 20 August 2009 – More safety in the event of a fire – this is what the new sheath mixture which Nexans Deutschland has developed for energy cables and leads for underground laying. It is already available for all voltage applications from low to high voltage. Unlike PVC, this new material is halogen-free, highly flame-resistant and prevents the fire from spreading. In addition, it does not give off any toxic or corrosive gases that endanger people and materials, and releases much less smoke in the event of fire so that escape routes can be used more easily. The key factor is that the chemists at the Nexans Research Centre (Nuremberg) have also managed to improve the material hardness and abrasion resistance and eliminate the sheath material's hygroscopic characteristics. Therefore the cables are ideally suited to straightforward laying even in difficult conditions, in the ground or in a damp environment. Furthermore, the Nexans optimisation concept offers saving potential in lowvoltage applications: the cables and leads with the new material can operate with a smaller, less expensive nominal cross-section of the copper conductor than PVC-insulated cables and leads since they can be used at a 20°C higher conductor temperature.

Easy to assemble and environmentally friendly

Cables and leads with the new halogen-free sheath material can even be laid in the water-bearing subsurface with no special protective measures (installation tubes), as their sheath does not absorb any water, even over several decades. This makes laying easier and reduces costs. Depending on the area of application, there are also savings in terms of fire safety measures, as there is no "quick match effect" (fire spreading along the cable) with flame-resistant material. For this reason, fire-retardant coatings can be omitted, or a less elaborate fireproof bulkhead is needed.

Clear advantages in low-voltage applications:
better and less expensive than PVC

Further savings are achieved in low-voltage applications. As the halogen-free material can be used at conductor temperatures of 90°C, i.e. 20°C more compared with PVCinsulated cables and leads, cables with smaller copper cross-sections can be used for identical nominal currents. This copper saving alone considerably reduces procurement costs. This optimisation concept of the cross-sections used also results in lower weights, which makes installation much easier, particularly in the case of entire cable bundles. The abrasion resistance and high mechanical resilience of the material improves handling during assembly work, as the danger of mechanical damage during insertion is considerably reduced.

More safety in the network from power plant through to power distribution

With their improved properties, the halogen-free, flame-resistant cables with underground laying capability are ideal for use in heavily used buildings, in industry or in power plants – i.e. anywhere where high fire safety requirements and investment protection are necessary. In addition, they reduce the risks in transport, for example on Istanbul's underground railway system, for which Nexans delivered 120 km of halogen-free 35-kV medium-high voltage cable with this new material last winter. The key factor is the considerable increase in the fire safety level with comparable investment costs.

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About Nexans Germany

Nexans Germany is one of the leading cable manufacturers in Europe. The company is offering an extensive range of high performance cables, systems, and components for the telecommunications and energy sectors, rounded off by superconducting materials and components, Cryoflex transfer systems and special machinery for the cable industry. Producing at manufacturing plants with 6.240 employees in Germany and abroad, the sales in 2008 amounts to approx. 936 Mio Euro. The full integration into the Nexans Group Nexans Germany also benefits from excellent opportunities to use the available synergies in all corporate fields, which not only applies to worldwide projects but also to research and development, the exchange of know how, and to other areas. More information on