Raw material companies have been busy developing new sustainable plastic products not because it is in vogue to be GREEN but because they considerate it to be a necessary long term objective to contribute to the protection of the environment.
New families of phthalate free plasticizers for use in wire and jacketing are made of 100% renewable feedstocks like corn, etc. They have been developed to meet the growing demand for more sustainable options in home electronics, appliances cords, communication and automotive wiring.
New bio thermoplastic polyurethane grades offer wire & cable producers a new value proposition for performance excellence and environmental responsibility.
Halogen-free, abrasion resistant TPU grades with up to 60% renewable content offer an alternative for TPU or TPE for automotive, mining and solar cables.
Halogen-free, flame retardant bio TPE provide an alternative to PVC insulated power cables and cords, phthalate free TPE is suitable for medical tubing.
HFFR compounds with about 50% of natural renewable source meet essential outdoor indoor cable sheathing specification and satisfy the global demand for eco-conscious solutions.
In the business to business world, “going green” means being able to understand the new challenges of sustainable development:
- Reduction of environmental impact.
- Improvement of energy efficiency.
Our friend Patricio Murga wrote recently: “more than just a goal, the industry has a major obligation to promote and preserve the environment through the use of the raw materials that does not jeopardize the world balance, bearing in mind that our product or their remains might last several generations.”
Large wire and cable companies already started to develop products that comply with the green trend. Most of them seem to have the know-how and are ready to produce compliant products as soon as customers demand them.
The small companies on their side must be aware of upcoming chemical restrictions and trends, and new innovative materials, in order to continue to be competitive in the global market place.
There is little doubt that if the wire companies want to be the suppliers of choice for their customers, they will need to be able to supply products made of safer materials.
To deal with issues of waste toxicity and volume, the governments are increasingly turning to extended product responsibility or product policy laws and regulations. This focuses manufacturers and the governments on products and the materiel they are made of. To deal with consumer exposure to toxic substances in products, governments and OEMs are looking at chemical restrictions in materials.
In the race to be green, retailers are also stepping up to place restrictions on products coming into their stores.
In the USA, LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is a green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
USGBC created a “pilot credit” that can provide LEED points for the use of certain products (including cables, window frames, ceiling and floor tiles, conduit and other products) that do not contain halogenated organic compounds. Vinyl, PVCs, FEP and other fluorinated materials are classified as Halogenated Organic compounds and are widely used in communications cable products for their fire, smoke and low dielectric properties(in the case of FEP).
In order for cable products to help earn this pilot credit point, the cables must not exceed defined limits for the content of halogenated organic compounds, this Pilot Credit established by USGBC covers cable products among other products.
The new bio based polymers are like all HFFR compounds, sensitive to shear and stress when they flow through the complex path of an extrusion cross head; in order to respond to the demand of the large wire & cable manufacturers and offer the wire & industry a cross head specially adapted to sensitive compounds, MICRODIA developed the new ECOMEX cross heads family presented for the first time at the MICRODIA booth during the Wire 2010 in Düsseldorf. The ECOMEX concept had been earlier tested in production and was released after having passed all the performance tests.
Main ECOMEX features:
- Larger entry channel.
- Low head pressure build up thanks to redesigned extra deep distributors.
- Specially shaped tip and dies.
- Reduced die drool.
- Fast tooling change.
- Fast configuration change (skin, stripe, single layer).
- Complete cleaning & dismantling tools.
- Thermostatic heating/cooling (optional).
ECOMEX cross head charachteristics:
Microdia SA Rue Prés-du-Lac 69bis 1400 Yverdon-les-Bains Switzerland