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TST CABLES Innovative Radiation Resistant Cable Solutions: PEEK/XLPE Cables and Irradiated Crosslinked Cables

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TST CABLES Innovative Radiation Resistant Cable Solutions: PEEK/XLPE Cables and Irradiated Crosslinked Cables

June 14
21:08 2024

TST CABLES has developed its own range of single and multi-core irradiation crosslinked wires and cables, suitable for operation at high ambient temperatures cable (-190°C – +1400°C) and radiation resistant.TST CABLES is a major supplier of cables for the nuclear power industry in China.

Depending on the application, they are made of different insulation materials including ETFE, special thermoplastic and thermoset compounds, cross-linked polyolefins (XLPE/XLPO), polyurethanes (TPU) and polyimides (adhesive tapes or TPI extruded), PEEK, etc. to meet the demanding requirements of scientific and nuclear applications. They are used as instrumentation, control and sensor cables in nuclear power plants or particle detectors. Instrumentation and control cables for nuclear reactors are exposed to temperature, dose rate and cumulative dose during the expected 40 – 60 year operational life of a nuclear power plant unit.

Radiation-resistant cables comply with mold growth, rodent, termite, thermal aging, radiation resistance testing, LOCA testing and MSLB testing in accordance with IEEE-383, and associated fire performance testing.

Radiation Resistant Cable Technical Information

  • Up to +100°C: Halogen-free XLPE/XLPO (50-100 Mrad)
  • Up to +125°C: Halogen-free TPU (100-200 Mrad)
  • Up to +155°C: ETFE insulated (10-30 Mrad)
  • Up to +250°C: Polyimide and PEEK (500-7000 Mrad)


Principle of Irradiation Crosslinking Technology

High-energy electron beams produced by electron gas pedals, acting inside the polymer, change the molecular structure of the polymer from a linear macromolecule to an insoluble and insoluble three-dimensional mesh structure, thus giving the material special heat resistance, chemical resistance, radiation resistance, high flame retardancy and high strength.

Radiation resistant cable characteristics:

The radiation resistance of the material is defined using the radiation index (RI) in IEC 60544-4 and refers to the point at which the elongation rupture decreases to ≥50% of the original value. 1 Gy = 100 rad; 1 Gy = 1J/kg The resistance of cables, wires, and other products used in connection technology to ionizing radiation plays a particularly important role in nuclear power plants. In addition to the suitability of the products themselves, all processes need to meet the special requirements of such applications. Temperature: Range – 20 degrees Celsius to + 200 degrees Celsius.

Radiation-resistant cables are special cables specially designed for high-radiation environments, using irradiation cross-linking technology, they are capable of stably transmitting power and signals in extreme environments such as nuclear power plants, medical radiotherapy equipment, military equipment, space exploration and so on, to ensure the safety and reliability of equipment operation.

Radiation-resistant cable structure

The structure of radiation-resistant cables usually includes the following key parts:

Conductor: High-purity copper or silver-plated copper wires are used to improve electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance to ensure the stability and efficiency of current transmission in a radiation environment.

Insulation: The core is a high-performance material such as radiation-resistant PEEK (polyether ether ketone) or cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE), which have excellent high-temperature, chemical, and radiation-resistant properties to effectively protect the conductor from radiation.

Shield: This can include a braided metal layer or a metal foil layer, which is used for electromagnetic shielding to reduce external interference and also helps to suppress electromagnetic radiation generated within the cable.

Sheathing: The external sheathing is also usually made of radiation-resistant materials, such as fluoroplastics or modified PEEK, to enhance the overall mechanical strength and environmental resistance of the cable.

Filling and support: The inside of the cable may be filled with water and gas barrier materials to enhance the structural stability and environmental adaptability of the cable.

Radiation-resistant cable performance characteristics

Radiation-resistant materials: Radiation-resistant cables are usually made of specially formulated insulating and sheathing materials, such as polyether ether ketone (PEEK), crosslinked polyethylene (XLPE), fluoroplastics, and so on. These materials are specially treated to resist the destruction of molecular structure caused by radiation and maintain good electrical properties and mechanical strength.

Radiation stability: core materials such as PEEK have excellent radiation stability, even in a long period of time under a high dose of radiation, but also to reduce the increase in conductivity and insulation performance decline, to ensure the long-term reliability of the cable.

High Temperature Resistance: The materials used in radiation resistant cables usually have a high heat deflection temperature, which allows them to maintain stable electrical performance in high temperature environments, adapting to high temperature operating environments such as nuclear power plants and space.

Mechanical Strength and Toughness: To withstand harsh installation conditions, these cables have enhanced mechanical strength and toughness to withstand shock, vibration and stress while maintaining structural integrity.

Flame Retardant & Low Smoke Halogen Free: To meet safety standards, many irradiation resistant cables are made with flame retardant, low smoke, halogen free materials to reduce the release of toxic gases and safeguard personnel even in fire situations.

What are irradiated cables used in

Irradiated cables are widely used in the following fields because of their excellent physical properties, heat resistance, radiation resistance, chemical resistance and other characteristics:

Nuclear industry: irradiated cables are widely used in the nuclear industry, such as nuclear reactors, gas pedals and other nuclear facilities, control systems, signaling systems.

Aerospace: Irradiated cables are also widely used in the aerospace field due to their good mechanical properties and radiation resistance.

Medical equipment: Irradiated cables are also used in medical equipment, such as X-ray machines and CT machines.

Power system: Irradiated cables are widely used in power systems, such as power substations, transmission and transformation lines, and so on.

Other fields: irradiated cables can also be used in a variety of high temperature, high pressure, high-speed movement of equipment and machinery, such as high-speed trains, high-speed elevators and so on.

Advantages of radiation-resistant cable

Long-term reliability: Extremely long service life in a radiation environment, reducing maintenance costs.

Safety performance: Reduces the risk of radiation leakage and protects personnel.

Customization: Customized design can be made according to the needs of specific application scenarios to meet diversified needs.

Standards and Certifications

Radiation-resistant cables are subject to a range of international and national standards, such as IEC 60502 (power cables), IEC 60228 (conductors), as well as specific radiation protection and fire resistance standards. In addition, safety and environmental approvals such as UL, CE, RoHS may be required.

Common specifications for radiation-resistant cables

Radiation-resistant cables come in a variety of specifications, depending on the application, including but not limited to:

Conductor cross-section: from hair-thin micro-fine cables to large cross-section power transmission cables.

Voltage ratings: from low voltage, medium voltage to high voltage.

Sheath type: from soft flexible cables to rigid armored cables to suit different installation conditions.

What are the differences between irradiated cables and ordinary cables?

Irradiated cables and ordinary cables mainly have the following differences:

Different manufacturing process: Irradiated cables need to be treated by electron beam radiation during the production process, while ordinary cables do not.

Physical properties are different: irradiated cable as a result of radiation treatment, so that the molecular chain of polymer materials inside the cable crosslinking occurs, thereby improving the tensile strength, elongation at break, hardness and other physical properties of the cable.

Heat resistance is different: due to the irradiated cable internal polymer material molecular chain crosslinking, thus making the irradiated cable has better heat resistance.

Radiation resistance is different: irradiated cable due to the crosslinking of the internal molecular chain, which makes the cable has better radiation resistance.

Chemical corrosion resistance is different: irradiated cable internal polymer material molecular chain crosslinking, which makes the cable has better chemical corrosion resistance.

Price difference: due to the irradiated cable manufacturing process and material costs are higher, so its price is relatively high.

In general, irradiated cable has obvious advantages in physical properties, heat resistance, radiation resistance, chemical corrosion resistance, etc., but its manufacturing cost is higher, so in the actual application need to be selected according to the specific circumstances, if you have questions welcome to contact us by mail.

What is the difference between PEEK (polyether ether ketone) cable and cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) cable?

PEEK (polyether ether ketone) and cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) are both high-performance engineering plastics, but they differ significantly in their chemical structure, performance characteristics and application areas:

PEEK (polyether ether ketone) cable

Chemical Structure and Properties: PEEK is a semi-crystalline aromatic thermoplastic polymer consisting of repeating ether-ketone units with a very stable chemical structure, which gives it excellent resistance to high temperatures, chemicals and abrasion.

Temperature resistance: PEEK can maintain good mechanical properties in high temperature environments, with a long term service temperature of up to 250°C, and can withstand higher temperatures in the short term.

Mechanical properties: its high mechanical strength and stiffness, excellent fatigue resistance, comparable to certain metal alloys.

Self-lubricating: PEEK has a low coefficient of friction, making it suitable for applications requiring wear resistance and self-lubrication.

Biocompatibility: PEEK also has good biocompatibility and is widely used in medical implants.

Applications: Mainly used in aerospace, automotive, medical, oil and gas, and semiconductor manufacturing, especially in demanding environments.

Cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) cables

Chemical Structure and Properties: XLPE is a modified material in which cross-linking bonds are formed between the molecular chains of polyethylene (PE) by chemical or physical means. This cross-linked structure increases the thermal stability, mechanical strength and chemical resistance of the material.

Temperature resistance: Compared to ordinary PE, XLPE has improved temperature resistance and can reach operating temperatures above 90°C, but is usually lower than PEEK.

Electrical properties: The most important feature of XLPE is its excellent electrical insulation properties, which makes it an important insulating material in the wire and cable industry.

Chemical resistance and weather resistance: XLPE has good resistance to most chemical substances, and good aging and weather resistance.

Application areas: It is widely used in power cables, communication cables, pipes, anti-corrosion linings, hot water pipes, etc. It plays a key role especially in power transmission and distribution systems.

To summarize, PEEK and XLPE have their own merits, PEEK is more prominent in high temperature resistance, mechanical properties, self-lubrication and biocompatibility, while XLPE is known for its excellent electrical insulation properties and its wide range of applications in the wire and cable industry. The choice between the two depends on the specific application environment and performance requirements.

Radiation-resistant cables, with their unique design and performance, are key components in specific areas, ensuring stable operation and safe transmission under extreme conditions.

Installation and Maintenance of Radiation Resistant Cables

Installation of radiation-resistant cables requires a specialized team to ensure that all aspects comply with safety regulations and design requirements. Due to its special characteristics, attention needs to be paid during installation:

Environmental adaptability: Ensure that the cable path is free of radiation contamination, or take appropriate isolation measures.

Mechanical stress: Reasonable wiring, avoid excessive bending and external damage, use special fixings and support structures.

Joint processing: cable joints need to use radiation-resistant sealing materials and processes to prevent radiation leakage and environmental intrusion.

Marking and recording: clearly mark the cable type, specification and installation location, and establish a perfect maintenance file.

Maintenance of radiation-resistant cables

Regular inspection: Including insulation resistance and voltage resistance test, as well as appearance inspection to detect potential problems in time.

Environmental monitoring: In a radiation environment, regularly assess the radiation level in the area where the cable is located to ensure that it is within safe limits.

Emergency Response: Emergency plans are in place for quick response and repair of unexpected radiation leaks or physical damage.

Environmental Protection and Sustainability

Radiation-resistant cables are also designed with environmental protection and sustainability in mind, such as the use of halogen-free materials to reduce potential harm to the environment. At the end of the cable’s life cycle, recycling is encouraged to reduce waste of resources.

Radiation-resistant cable technology trends

New material development: Continuous research and development of new radiation-resistant materials to improve the comprehensive performance of cables and reduce costs.

Intelligent integration: cable built-in intelligent monitoring system, real-time transmission of cable status data, preventive maintenance.

Lightweight and Flexibility: Optimize the structural design, improve the flexibility and ease of installation of the cable, and adapt to more application scenarios.

Customized solutions: Provide more personalized and highly adaptable cable system design according to users’ specific needs.

TSTCABLES, the world’s leading supplier of radiation resistant cables.

As a representative of TST CABLES‘ high-end technology products, radiation-resistant cables are not only a manifestation of technical strength, but also an important contribution to human exploration of the unknown and protection of public safety.

With the progress of science and technology and the expansion of application fields, the technology and market prospect of radiation-resistant cables will continue to expand, providing a strong guarantee for more safe operations in high-risk environments.

To choose TST CABLES is to choose a safer and more reliable partner, to break through the dilemma of radiation together and to light up the light of science and technology.

In the exploration of the magnificence of the universe, guarding the peace of home, TST CABLES anti-radiation cable, side by side with you, guarding every responsibility, connecting every dream.

If your industry has needs or questions about radiation resistant cablesirradiated cross-linked cablesPEEK (polyether ether ketone) cables or cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) cables, please feel free to contact us by email.

TSTCABLES (www.tstcables.com), focusing on providing high quality high temperature resistant cable applications and solutions for global enterprises, TST Cables mainly focuses on R&D, manufacturing and sales of PEEK, PI and other series of high-temperature materials; the products are widely used in the fields of oil and gas, shipbuilding, nuclear power, wind power, rail transportation, and military industry.

For more information on low-smoke, halogen-free, flame-retardant, high-temperature-resistant cables or to customize cables for your machinery or system, visit https://www.tstcables.com or send Email to:[email protected]

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