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XLPE

In 1973, AEI acquired a licence for a new method of chemically crosslinked polyethylene, which had been recently developed by Midland Silicones, now called Dow.  This involved the process of forming links between polyethylene chains with the use of silane molecules and was known as the Sioplas process.  The resulting material is commonly referred to as XLPE (crosslinked polyethylene) or PEX-b

In 1974 sufficient work had been undertaken to give the confidence to start manufacturing Sioplas in 1975.  The focus at that time was utilising the excellent electrical and di-electric properties of XLPE to use it as insulation for low and medium voltage power cables.  In 1980 we entered the hot water pipe market with PEX-b compounds and this has grown to be a major part of our business.  Our products have, therefore, been in the field for over 30 years and have demonstrated the long life of these products.

XLPE has uses other than in wire and cable and is now one of the main products used in the manufacture of hot and cold water pipes.  Other applications are for heatshrink tubing and for medical and dental applications.

The main effect of crosslinking polyethylene (PE) or other polymer types is to improve their high temperature properties.  Cable insulation made from PE with a continuous operating temperature of 70°C can have this improved by up to 125°C when it is crosslinked.  Typical power cable insulation designed to operate at 90°C will be made of crosslinked PE.  Hot water pipes are made from PE-b and are designed to operate at 10 bar at 95°C.

Other properties that are improved by crosslinking are impact and tensile strength, especially at low temperatures, scratch resistance, and resistance to brittle fracture.

Our experience in this sector has continued to grow and we now offer a wide range of standard and flame retardant compounds based on this Sioplas technology.  For a full listing of the halogen free flame retardant grades please click on the HFFR or Wire and Cable buttons.  We are sure that there are other applications for this easy to use technology and we would be very interested to hear about these.

Grades Available  

Density
(g/cm2)

Tensile
strength
(Mpa)

Elongation
at break
(%)

Melt flow rate
(2.16kg at 190oC)

Ambient cure

Data
sheet

 
 SX408:CM401  Silane crosslinkable LDPE

0.93

18

350

0.9

No

Data sheet icon

 SX409:CM401  UV and weather resistant silane crosslinkable LDPE

0.93

18

350

0.7

No

Data sheet icon

 SX490:CM401  UV and weather resistant silane crosslinkable LDPE

0.95

18

450

-

No

Data sheet icon

 SX523:CM493  UV and weather resistant silane crosslinkable LDPE

0.95

18

450

-

No

Data sheet icon

 SX522A:CM401  silane crosslinkable LDPE

0.92

18

450

1.4

Yes

Data sheet icon

 SX546:CM497CD  125oC rated silane crosslinkable polylethylene LDPE  

0.92

24

500

-

No

Data sheet icon

 SX-0470:CM424  Flexible silane crosslinkable polyethylene LDPE

0.90

9

420

1.6

No

Data sheet icon

 SX-0410:CM401  Silane crosslinkable polylethylene HDPE

0.93

19

450

1.4

Yes

Data sheet icon

 SX720:CM488  General purpose silane crosslinkable MDPE

0.952

24

540

1.0

No

Data sheet icon

 SX734:CM488  General purpose silane crosslinkable MDPE

0.952

24

540

1.2

No

Data sheet icon

 SX744:CM488  Flexible silane crosslinkable MDPE

0.941

24

550

1.3

Yes

Data sheet icon

 SX703:CM488  High flow silane crosslinkable HDPE

0.954

26

450

8.0

No

Data sheet icon

 SX739:CM488  High flow silane crosslinkable HDPE

0.954

26

450

8.0

No

Data sheet icon

 Pexidan U/T  General purpose silane crosslinkable LDPE

0.92

15

450

0.8

No

Data sheet icon

 Pexidan R/T  General purpose silane crosslinkable LDPE

0.954

17

340

 0.8

No

Data sheet icon

Please note that all of the silane crosslinkable grades, except those from the Pexidan range, are shown as a system with a graft and a catalyst.  These are normally used in the ratio of 95:5.  The most common catalyst masterbatch is shown in the table but there are others available which helps us to more accurately match your property requirements and processing conditions.  Pexidan grades also comprise of two components, but are offered under a single name for the system.  The names of the components and the ratio in which they are used are described in the relevant data sheet.