Analysis of XLPE and HPTE materials

April 2017 — Plastics used for the insulation of medium, high- and extra-high voltage cables have to comply with the highest purity standards. Most commonly, XLPE is used for the insulation. 

The cross-linking takes place at temperatures of up to 450 °C. For that, the insulated cable runs through the heated pressure pipe of a CV line at approximately 10 bars and cools down in the pressure tube as well. Before the cable can be further processed, a degassing is necessary. As an alternative, a High Performance Thermoplastic Elastomer (HPTE), based on Polypropylene, can be used. The material shows good electrical and thermo-mechanical properties, comparable to those of XLPE and in some aspects even superior. The HPTE does not require a cross-linking and no degassing treatments. This means that the complete cable is manufactured in one production process without a CV line and could be jacketed directly in the inline process.

The purity of the insulation material is an essential criterion for the durability of the cable or by implication for the risk of a breakdown and the accompanying costs. At this point, the advanced purity inspection and sorting system “Purity Scanner” comes into focus. It allows for a 100 % online quality assurance. By using X-ray technology and optical technology, contamination are reliably identified on and inside the pellet and automatically separated. In addition to online inspection and sorting devices, the Purity Concept systems are available for on- and offline inspection and analysis of pellets, flakes and tapes/films. The models are designed for smaller throughputs as well as production lines where sample testing is sufficient, or the control of incoming goods is required. Depending on application, the systems are equipped with X-ray technology, Infrared technology or optical sensors and are used for the detection of contamination in XLPE and HPTE material. 

Sikora AG
Bruchweide 2
28307 Bremen/ Germany
Contact person is Mrs. Katja Giersch
Phone: +49 421 48900-0

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