SOME KEY FEATURES OF EBA BASED WIRE & CABLE APPLICATIONS AND COMPOUNDING
Polymers for cable and wire applications require elastomeric properties. Rubbers like EPDM, EPM, or NBR are widely employed. In recent years, these rubber materials have been replaced by elastomeric thermoplasts like ethylenebutylacrylates (EBA), ethylenevinylacetate (EVA), metallocene-polyethylene (m-PE) etc. in many cases. Among these, EBA and EVA prove to be even more cost-effective since their production requires less elaborate technologies. Today, many wire & cable formulations are based on our Lucofin® 1400HN and 1400 MN EBAs or EBA/EPDM blends.
EPDM and other rubbers undergo crosslinking by vulcanization (by steam, hot air, radiation, sulfur, …) to improve their properties eg. maximum handling temperature, enhanced chemical and stress crack resistance, better mechanical properties of the final products.
The polyolefinic equivalents are based on similar methods resulting in so-called cross-linked PE (XLPE). Peroxide, organosilane and electron beam irradiation are the preferred methods of choice. These XLPEs proved to be excellent replacement plastics for most crosslinked rubbers but improved underlying economics. Our Lucofin® EBAs used in these applications not only match but excel on most of the customers’ desired metrics.
Commercial polyamides (PA-6, PA-66,…) are tough and ductile materials with a high tensile elongation at break, high drop weight impact etc. Exposure to water often improves toughness due to the plasticization effect. However, PAs can also be brittle and lack stress crack resistance (as shown by the notched Izod and Charpy impact tests).
Here, Lucofin® EBAs may be the perfect modifier especially our grades 1400MN and 1492M HG (which is its maleic anhydride (MAh) grafted equivalent) suitable for highly polar polymers and polymer blends. For PAs, typical EBA concentration range from 5-25wt % to maximize toughness while simultaneously retaining a high level of tensile strength and heat deflection temperature.
Not-reinforced or glass-fiber reinforced PAs can be modified as well.
The Lucofin® modified PA blend uniquely combines high-notch Izod Impact and drop weight impact strength coupled with an excellent balance of E-modulus, tensile strength, heat, solvent and abrasion resistance. Consequently, it is very well suited for many engineering and metal replacement applications.