November 2016 Vol. 1

Lack of Crosslinking Causes Cable Recall

Testing the Thermal Stability of PVC Cables by the Congo Red Testing (ExcelPlas Labs)

University of NSW Signs Graphene Deal with China Cable Company

Prysmian to Launch Powerful Cable Solution for Transmission Grids

Experts Corner:   What Caused the Infinity Cable Failures and Recall
Inferior cable like Infinity and Olsen cables where discovered to have a considerable lower life expectancy rapidly becoming more brittle as the plasticizers leach out of the cable due to heat and normal operation.

PVC cable insulation can be compromised by a chemical reaction if it is in contact with polystyrene. Make you check the insulation is undamaged before installing this cable and always follow the cable manufacturer’s instructions.

The plasticiser in cable insulation PVC to make it flexible and tough is not chemically bonded to the PVC and will slowly leach out of the cable over time. The process of cable losing plasticisers increases when the cable is in contact with other materials, such as polystyrene and polyurethane. The leaching of the plasticiser will cause the cable’s PVC material to become harder, more brittle and prone to cracking. This could mean live conductors will be exposed, and possibly result in electric shock or fire.

One significant factor that affects the rate of leaching is the size of the contact area between the cable and polystyrene. The larger the contact area, the quicker the rate of plasticiser leaching out. The rate of the cable’s deterioration will vary with the installation conditions.

Addivant Introduces Lowinox™ Fast Xl which Improves Productivity and Reliability for Cross-linked Polyethylene Power Cables

Two New Polybond™ Coupling Agents Enabling HFFR (zero halogen) Cable Producers to Achieve Excellent Mechanical Properties Sustainably

LSF Cables vs LSHF Cables  – Do you know the difference?
Do you know the difference between LSF and LSHF cable? There is a worryingly common misconception that LSF cable (Low Smoke and Fume) and LSHF cable (Low smoke Halogen Free) are simply different names for the same thing. This is certainly not the case, and confusing the two could result in life-threatening repercussions in the event of a fire.

PVC Cable Fire Toxicity Using the Cone Calorimeter

KBS™ – the New Fire Protective Coating for Electrical Cables

ASTM-D-2863 Oxygen Index LOI
ASTM D2863-06a Standard Test Method for Measuring the Minimum Oxygen Concentration to Support Candle-Like Combustion of Plastics (Oxygen Index)

Melbourne Laboratory Analysis of Low Smoke Halogen-Free (LSHF) Cable Materials

Testing of Cross-linked Polyethylene (XLPE) as specified in AS3808

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This Newsletter is brought to you by ExcelPlas Cable Insulation Testing Laboratory (NATA Certified)
XLPE and HDPE Cable Insulation Testing (QA, QC, incoming raw materials)
-Carbon Black Content (ASTM D1603, AS/NZS 2904 Clause 7.4.5 which uses AS 1463 Appendix B)
-Carbon Black Dispersion
-Oxidative Induction Time (OIT)
-Melt Flow Index (MFR)
-Stress Cracking Resistance Testing (ESCR testing)
-Failure Analysis (processing, water treeing, contamination ID, etc)

Materials Excelplas Can Test:
* PVC (V-90) (Soft (plasticised) Polyvinyl Chloride compound)
* XLPE (X-90, X-HF-110) (Crosslinked Polyethylene)
* Rubber (R-EP-90, R-HF-90, R-HF-110) (Ethylene Propylene Rubber).

ExcelPlas Undertakes the Following Cable Testing as per AS/NZS 5000 and AS/NZS 3808:
* Measurement of thickness of insulation and sheath (sample test)
* Tensile strength and elongation of insulation and sheath material – before ageing (type test)0
* Tensile strength and elongation of insulation and sheath material – after ageing (type test)
* Loss of mass of insulation and sheath (thermoplastic materials only) (type test)
* Pressure test at high temperature of insulation and sheath (thermoplastic materials only) (type test)
* Heat shock (thermoplastic materials only) (sample test)
* Hot set test (cross linked materials only) (type test)
* Exudation of plasticizer (thermoplastic materials only) (type test)
* Compatibility test of cables materials (type test)

Other Cable and Insulation Testing Offered by ExcelPlas NATA Labs (
Shore A/D Hardness
Density Determination
Accelerated Weathering testing
Charpy and Izod Tensile Tester
Laboratory press for preparing samples
Plasticizer extraction analysis apparatus
Loss in Mass (volatility) analysis
Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI) Analysis of Cables
Wire Insulation Abrasion
Testing Composition of Low Smoke Zero Halogen Cables
Testing of %Crosslinking of XLPE Cables
Testing of Tree Retardant XLPE Cables
Identification of Contamination/Foreign Matter
Determination of % Carbon Black in Cable Sheathing
Determination of Filler Content/Composition in Cable Insulation
Limiting Oxygen Index of Flame Retardant Cables
Plasticizer Level and Content of PVC Insulated Cables
Compliance Testing of Important Cable to Ensure it is Compliant with Australian Standards