UV-resistant cables for outdoor use
What is a UV-resistant cable?
Light helps us to perceive the world with our eyes - in bright colors, from red to blue. Beyond the visible blue light lurks the ultraviolet light. It is invisible to our eyes, but it can be quite painful if we spend a day on the beach without sun protection. Because it destroys the upper layer of skin and can cause skin cancer in the long term. Other diseases like cataracts or macular degeneration in the eye can also have too much UV light as a cause. Therefore the recommendation is: Who is in the sun, should apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses.
What is bad for our health is not good for cables either - they can get "sunburned" too. Not quickly, but over the years the high energy of the UV light decomposes the plastic of the outer sheath and at some point also attacks the insulation of the conductors. Then it can come to short circuits and the stop of machines, in the worst-case humans can be endangered. The damage is often visible to the naked eye because the plastic fades and becomes brittle and fragile. If you rub over it, crumbs fall off. But that is dangerous, because the current-carrying conductor underneath may already be bare.
For places with strong UV light, there are cables with extra sun protection. They are usually black because the plastic contains soot. Soot absorbs the energy-rich UV rays already on the surface and converts them into heat. The cable heats up, so it must have a sufficiently high -range. However, the soot that is added to the jacket plastic has little to do with the undesirable by-product that swells from a smoking chimney. Instead, industrial soot is used here, which is produced in optimized combustion processes. The size, porosity, and total surface area of the soot particles can be adjusted and optimized for use as UV protection.
Where are UV-resistant cables used?
In short: outdoors, where cables are exposed to direct sunlight. This can be the cable to the satellite dish or the cables that bring the electricity from photovoltaic modules into the house. Even large industrial plants, such as those in the chemical industry, are often outdoors. In addition, trucks, and harvesters need UV-resistant cables, as do locomotives and the tracks on which they travel.
Less known is that strong UV light can also occur indoors. This is for example the case in the pharmaceutical industry, where devices are sterilized with UV light. Because UV light kills microorganisms in water, food, or exhaust air. UV-resistant cables are also useful in such systems.
What UV-resistant cables are available from LAPP?
As the world market leader for integrated connectivity solutions, we have a broad portfolio of UV-resistant products. These include cables for the transmission of power, control signals, and data as well as the appropriate connectors and accessories such as cable glands and cable markings. Here is a small selection of LAPP cables:
A classic in the LAPP portfolio are the ÖLFLEX® cables. They are extremely robust and often also UV-resistant. Examples are ÖLFLEX® CLASSIC 400 P, ÖLFLEX® SERVO FD 798 CP or ÖLFLEX® FD 855 P. There are also many examples of data cables, such as ETHERLINE® SERVO DQ FD P Cat.5e is for the open SIEMENS DRIVE-CLiQ® system interface or HITRONIC® HQN 1500.
LAPP is a pioneer in cables for DC-applications and a partner in the DC industry research project. The company has launched the first cable specifically for DC-applications. The range of products is growing continuously, the latest addition is the ÖLFLEX® DC ROBOT 900, which with its torsional and bending properties is suitable for moving applications in robots, cable drag chains or machine tools. The insulation of the cores is made of TPE, the jacket of PUR. This makes the cable halogen-free and suitable for places where people are present because in case of fire no corrosive vapors escape from the plastic. Also, the material is UV and weather-resistant, waterproof, and flexible at low temperatures.
The black cable gland SKINTOP® ST-HF-M Black was developed especially for high UV radiation. It is often used on buildings or railroad installations.