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xlpe insulation definition

Release time:2016-08-26 10:36 hit:


Cross-linked polyethylene, commonly abbreviated PEX or XLPE, is a form of polyethylene with cross-links. It is formed into tubing, and is used predominantly in building services pipework systems, hydronic radiant heating and cooling systems, domestic water piping, and insulation for high tension (high voltage) electrical cables. It is also used for natural gas and offshore oil applications, chemical transportation, and transportation of sewage and slurries. PEX has become a common alternative to polyvinyl chloride (PVC), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) or copper tubing for use as residential water pipes.
 
Properties:
Almost all PEX used for pipe and tubing is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). PEX contains cross-linked bonds in the polymer structure, changing the thermoplastic to a thermoset. Cross-linking is accomplished during or after the extrusion of the tubing. The required degree of cross-linking, according to ASTM Standard F876, is between 65 and 89%. A higher degree of cross-linking could result in brittleness and stress cracking of the material while a lower degree of cross-linking could result in product with poorer physical properties.
 
Crosslinking improves the elevated-temperature properties of the base polymer. Adequate strength to 120–150°C is maintained by reducing creep, the tendency to flow. Chemical resistance is enhanced by resisting dissolution. Low temperature properties are improved. Impact and tensile strength, scratch resistance, and resistance to brittle fracture are enhanced.
 
Almost all cross-linkable polyethylene compounds (XLPE) for wire and cable applications are based on LDPE. XLPE-insulated cables have a rated maximum conductor temperature of 90°C and an emergency rating up to 140°C, depending on the standard used. They have a conductor short-circuit rating of 250°C. XLPE has excellent dielectric properties, making it useful for medium voltage—10 to 50 kV AC, and high voltage cables—up to 380 kV AC-voltage, and several hundred kV DC.
 
Numerous modifications in the basic polymer structure can be made to maximize productivity during the manufacturing process. For medium voltage applications, reactivity can be boosted significantly. This results in higher line speeds in cases where limitations in either the curing or cooling processes within the continuous vulcanization (CV) tubes used to cross-link the insulation. XLPE insulations can be modified to limit the amount of by-product gases generated during the cross-linking process. This is particularly useful for high voltage cable and extra-high voltage cable applications, where degassing requirements can significantly lengthen cable manufacturing time.
 
Cross-linked polyethylene is widely used as electrical insulation in power cables of all voltage ranges but it is especially well suited to medium voltage applications. It is the most common polymeric insulation material. The acronym XLPE is commonly used to denote cross-linked polyethylene insulation.
 
More information: xlpe wire definition


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