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How to Balance Cable Properties with Thermal Performance in Industrial Applications

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Control cables increasingly have to withstand temperature extremes in applications such as food and beverage machines, industrial ovens, furnaces, foundries and industrial process equipment. These applications can subject the cable to continuous-use temperatures as low as -50ºC and as high as 180ºC.

For these environmental conditions, customers have to think about cables with jacket materials other than PVC. You could buy very expensive specialty cables that can withstand even hotter or colder temperatures, or you could try to use a more traditional PVC control cable, whose lifecycle starts to fall dramatically in hot or cold environments.

A growing class of control cables occupies a middle ground between over-engineered specialty cables and commodity PVC cables. Based on silicone or cross-linked polyolefin copolymers, these cables can take over in thermal environments that would cause PVC cables to fail prematurely.

Here’s a closer look at these cables, and in particular, how they balance thermal performance against other desirable cable properties.