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IWCS July 2024 Webinar featuring Dow

Fluoropolymer Processing Aid Replacement in Cable Jacketing Compounds

Speaker Bio: Karl Seven, Associate Research Scientist, Dow

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Abstract:Wire and cable jacketing compounds are used across the industry in telecom as well as power cable applications. Many of these jacketing compounds include a fluoropolymer-based processing aid which is classified as a poly/perfluoroalkyl substance, (PFAS). Perfluoralkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) include over 4000 synthetic chemicals and are mostly based on carbon-fluorine bonds rather than carbon-hydrogen bonds. PFAS, including the fluoropolymer based-processing aids may not readily break down in the environment. PFAS containing products have been a topic of increasing concern from a regulatory perspective. Despite limited data on the environmental hazards of PFAS, there is growing environmentally driven focus worldwide to increase restrictions and bans on all types of PFAS. Restrictions and regulations in Europe for PFA based processing aids used in cables are expected to begin in 2025, with regulations likely to follow in North America. The Wire and Cable value chain is inquiring more frequently about non- PFAS based products. Therefore, there is a need to identify and implement alternative solutions without intentionally added PFAS. This paper reports on development studies to modify MDPE, HDPE and LLDPE jacket compounds by replacing the fluoropolymerbased polymer process aids (PPAs) with equivalent performing PPAs. The extrusion performance of PPAs with different chemical structures are compared and results presented show that equivalent processing aid performance can be achieved with appropriate selection of a non-PFAS based PPA. Replacing PFAS-based PPAs with additives without intentionally added PFAS will lead to more sustainable and environmentally friendly products.

About the Presenter: Dr. Karl Seven joined Dow Chemical Company in 2011 and is an Associate Research Scientist within Dow Wire and Cable. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Polymer Science & Engineering from Lehigh University. Before joining Dow, he held various technical positions related to polymer product R&D. His present research areas in addition to processing aids include both flame retardant and track resistant polyolefin compounds for wire and cable applications.

This technical paper was originally presented at last year’s IWCS Forum. Plan to attend the 2024 IWCS Cable & Connectivity Industry Forum October 14–16 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Click here for details.

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