Cables & Cable Management

HE1355 from Borealis ... innovative solution

HE1355 from Borealis ... innovative solution

Borealis HE1355 is ‘world’s first’ ADCA-free compound

Borealis, a leading provider of polyolefin compounds for the global energy industry, has launched the world’s first chemically-foamed, azodicarbonamide (ADCA)-free material intended for the production of telecommunications cables.

The HE1355 is a high density polyethylene (HDPE) compound that will allow cable manufacturers to bypass altogether any issues arising from the planned inclusion of ADCA on the EU’s Annex XIV of REACH (Authorisation List). Thus cable manufacturers can rely on being able to maintain seamless production, irrespective of any potential disruption caused by legislative changes.

"In developing HE1355, Borealis has gone beyond compliance to offer our customers an innovative and high-performing solution that allows for a seamless transition from existing grades to a new and improved one," explains Bart Verheule, Borealis Head of Marketing, Energy.

"Going ADCA-free with HE1355 is a win-win all around. It not only future-proofs cable producers from the effects of a potential ADCA ban, but also allows us to help them bring energy all around."

ADCA is principally used as a blowing agent in the production of foamed plastics. At present, it is classified as a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) by the European Chemicals Agency. However, it has recently been recommended for inclusion in the Annex XIV of REACH, the so-called ‘Authorisation List’.

Inclusion on this list would require producers, converters, and other downstream users to seek special temporary permission for the use of this substance in production. Given the continued growth of the cable sector due to digitalisation, such an action may have adverse effects on the global supply chain.

Borealis developed HE1355 anticipating the potentially disruptive effects to the cable industry. The new compound matches the technical performance of other chemically foamed HDPE grades currently on the market. It combines the proven advantages of its predecessors (Borealis compounds HE1345 and HE1344): superb processability, excellent stabilisation, and the requisite toughness for fast multi-pair assembly.

The optimal cell structure of HE1355 makes it highly suitable for applications such as foam or foam-skin insulation for telephone singles and data cables with a typical expansion of 35-40 per cent, as well as for dry core and petroleum jelly-filled cables. The new compound was successfully tested in a series of customer trials before its global launch in 2019.

Borealis—64 per cent owned by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala and 36 per cent by Austria-based OMV—is a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilisers. It provides services and products to customers around the world in collaboration with Borouge, a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc).

In power transmission and distribution, Borealis satisfies the highest demands on performance and across a comprehensive portfolio for medium and low voltage cable applications, as well as high-performance polypropylene (PP) capacitor film solutions for the entire energy sector.

Extra-high, high voltage AC and DC, and medium voltage applications are powered by Borlink technology. While the Visico technology helps extend the lifetime of cable systems for low and medium voltage applications. To meet safety standards for industries and buildings sustainably, Borealis also offers a low smoke and zero halogen flame retardant system.

With its head office in Vienna, Austria, the company currently has around 6,800 employees and operates in over 120 countries. In 2018, Borealis generated €8.3 billion ($9.14 billion) in sales.

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