Eco-engineered flexible resin for appliance wiring material (AWM) applications in consumer electronics

26-Oct-09
SABIC Innovative Plastics has announced that LTK Industries, a leading Hong Kong-based wire and cable OEM and long-term customer, is driving the use of SABIC Innovative Plastics’ eco-progressive Flexible Noryl* resin into appliance wiring material (AWM) applications used in consumer electronics. The advanced flame-retardant (FR) resin passes the stringent Underwriters Laboratories (UL) VW-1 flame test, and is helping manufacturers like LTK meet tough global requirements for halogen-free parts while delivering a virtually perfect balance of exceptional high-performance properties. By upgrading from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – which can release hazardous toxins when burned – to Flexible Noryl resin, LTK has further strengthened its position as a leading global provider of wire and cable solutions. Flexible Noryl resin not only provides a much better environmental choice vs. halogenated materials like PVC, but also surpasses other non-halogenated materials, including thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and polyethylene (PE), with an excellent balance of mechanical properties, flexibility and color retention for which the material is known. It is also recyclable in the original extrusion manufacturing process while retaining a high level of mechanical performance. Tak Lok Cheng, group technical director for LTK said, “Our relationship with SABIC Innovative Plastics – a strong environmental ally that shares our unbending commitment to protecting the planet – has been instrumental in helping us meet our goals, such as achieving RoHS compliance. With their support, we continue to expand the use of Flexible Noryl resin into new application areas to meet toughening world-wide environmental standards and take advantage of its superior performance and easy processing on existing extrusion equipment vs. lower performing competitive plastics.” Many different wire and cable constructions make up Underwriters Laboratories’ AWM category, including single- and multi-conductor constructions in a wide range of conductor sizes, insulation and jacket materials. Examples include USB cable, HDMI cable and audio/video cable for consumer electronics. The basic standard used to evaluate AWM is UL 758, the Standard for Safety of Appliance Wiring Material. Previously, LTK used PVC for its AWM products, but recognized the environmental drawbacks of this traditional wire and cable coating material. However, the company wanted to substitute a material that provided non-halogenated FR and could be processed on its existing extrusion equipment to keep costs down. Finally, for a competitive advantage, LTK required high-end performance, including excellent tensile strength and elongation, flexibility, heat aging, cold bending and aesthetics.
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