EuroWire November 2023

Technology News

UV curing of HFFR blends Mixer SpA is an Italian rubber manu- facturer that creates compounds for cable producers. The company’s research activity is focused on processing, properties and structure of rubber-based compounds, with the aim of improving the cable industry by proposing innovative and effective solutions.

mechanical and thermal properties were carried out. This successfully demonstrated the possibility to obtain a high cross-linked content of EKOPREN® compound with UV light, even in the presence of a high concentration of minerals and antioxidant agents. In an example of two different cured samples (XI1321 – X1 and X2) that were composed of copolymer blend (EKOPREN® XI1321) mixed with different photoinitiators and coagents, both samples displayed excellent performance during the hot set tests (HST) and the tensile strength (TS) and elongation (EB) tests. The photocrosslinking was obtained upon irradiation with a near-UV emitting LED – a more sustainable alternative to conventional mercury lamps. These results will lead to further investigation and study focused on the photoinitiators, coagents and exposure time to achieve the best properties of a highly charged HFFR compound obtained with a UV curing method. Mixer SpA

obtained using mild operative conditions and a low energy supply compared to thermal methods. In this scenario, most of the photo-cured polymers have been designed to achieve mechanical and thermal properties involving the use of additives to fulfil the requirements. The additives need to be implemented in the form of powders, which likely cause the scattering of UV photons, hindering deep penetration of the light inside the polymeric matrix and thus the reticulation. Using Mixer’s knowledge and the expertise of the university team of Prof Ceroni, the researchers explored the UV curing of a copolymer blend (made of EVA and POE) with a high percentage of HFFR fillers (powdered additives) – useful as insulating coverage for cables to be used in buildings. The UV curing was carried out by adding commercially available photo- initiators and reticulation coagents to the polymeric blend in different com- binations. By varying the UV irradiation exposure time, investigation of the

The company recently conducted a study with the Giacomo Ciamician Department of Chemistry, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, focused on UV crosslinking in low voltage cables: “Photocrosslinking of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA)–polyethylene-octene (POE) copolymer containing halogen free flame retardants, Morselli, G., Villa, M., Ceroni, P., Medici, L., Tarlazzi, F., Dossi, S., Matteucci, P., Galanti, A., Magrì, A., Polym. Eng. Sci. 2023, 63(6), 1761”. In the research, the team explored a technology to cure HFFR blends based on UV light. The use of light to achieve crosslinked polymers identifies a promising strategy to develop smart manufacturing technologies. The photo- crosslinking method represents a customised and efficient approach from an industrial point of view, since it can be

Tooling for the wire and cable industry Ajex & Turner Wire Technologies, India, in collaboration with Turner & Stott, UK, has been engaged in manufacturing wire drawing/TW/compacting dies and other tooling for the wire and cable industry since 1962. The company makes special tooling for copper, aluminium, stainless steel, brass, nickel and welding wire, and all types of ferrous and non-ferrous metal. Tooling is made using PCD, natural diamond, VNT nano, tungsten carbide or hardened steel, as per the customer’s requirements.

The company’s key products are wire drawing dies – PCD, diamond, VNT nano or carbide; as well as extrusion tools, in house die polishing machines, sector shapes, trapezoidal shapes, rollers, die-polishing accessories, diamond powder/ paste, diamond files, angular pins, wooden pins, cylindrical pins, air wipers and spiral brushes. The global industrial cables market is expected to witness significant growth owing to high capital spending and investments in industries worldwide. Raw material prices coupled with rapid industrialisation is expected to drive market growth. Several developing economies have witnessed rapid infrastructure development, which has further spurred market growth. Increasing energy demand and utilisation in emerging markets such as Asia Pacific is also projected to fuel market growth. The expansion in the power sector and the revamping of power transmission lines has provided impetus to the growth of the industry. Telecom-related initiatives along with a rising number of data centres have been a driver of growth in the optical fibre cable segment. The demand in these various segments, in addition to rising investment, is expected to be conducive for the growth of dies and tools for wire and cable, and Ajex & Turner is accordingly expanding its production facility with fully automatic machines. Ajex & Turner Wire Technologies (P) Ltd

Ajex & Turner carries out ongoing research and development, and has many quality control instruments to check die geometry and other profiles. VNT (vitrified nano technology) is a recent development. Wire drawing dies, compacting, bunching, stranding, TW, sector and groove dies are available immediately for delivery to customers.

In-house tungsten carbide die polishing and re-grinding machine


November 2023

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