The Chemistry of ATI's Ultra-Flexible Generator Cables
Not all cables are created equal. So, what’s the difference between a high-quality, ultra-flexible generator cable and one made with a plastic or PPE jacket from other temporary power suppliers? The short answer is durability. The more technical answer is the chemistry that makes up the jacket of the cable, which we’ll dive into throughout this blog.
We all know that cables can make or break an entire operation. It's important that you invest in premium cables to make sure that your emergency power system stays healthy and strong. Nevertheless, using the right generator cables can help you earn up to 50% more revenue for your company while costing only 5% more than its low-quality counterpart.
Top-quality cables are designed to efficiently carry electrical currents to minimize energy loss and withstand years’ worth of wear and tear. In this article, we’ll provide you with an overview of the cable chemistry that helps our Type W cable to last up to two times longer than other cables.
The Creation of Durable and Ultra-Flexible Generator Cables
The defining factor of a long-lasting and ultra-flexible generator cable comes down to the chemistry of its jacket. Thermoset cable jackets are proven to be significantly more durable and flexible than thermoplastic jackets, allowing you to get more use out of each cable. Thermoset cable jackets are a rubber-like material made of cross-linked polyethylene. Cross-linked polyethylene is created through a chemical reaction during the cable extrusion process, meaning that its chemical bonds are very strong and cannot be reversed.
Cables that don’t contain cross-linked polyethylene are typically referred to as thermoplastic. Thermoplastics are a type of polymer that doesn’t go through a chemical reaction during manufacturing, so its chemical bonds can be reversed. This means that thermoplastic creates cable jackets by simply melting, molding, and cooling the material without any special changes to the cable’s molecules.
On a microscopic level, the structure of thermoplastic closely resembles chains or branches. This means that the thermoplastic’s structure is held together by much weaker forces than thermoset material and leaves it more prone to damage than thermoset cross-linked polyethylene.
Fighting Damage to Maximize Your ROI
Abrasion - As we previously discussed, the molecular structure of thermoset material is much stronger than thermoplastic. This means that it will hold up much better to abrasions. For example, during a project, cables are often dragged through asphalt, rocks, and concrete. A thermoset cable jacket will withstand these obstacles with very little damage over time. Thermoplastic, on the other hand, will wear out quickly and leave conductors exposed. Once these conductors have been exposed, the cable is no longer safe to use and will need to be repaired by an ATI cable specialist. See our cable repair program for more information.
Heat - So, how do thermoplastic and thermoset jackets resist heat? Thermoplastic holds up to heat better than the type of plastic commonly used in everyday items such as water bottles, phone cases, pens, etc. However, its molecules will separate without much resistance when exposed to heat. When thermoplastic is exposed to high temperatures or direct flame it will begin to smoke profusely and melt within minutes. This leaves the cable unsafe for future use.
Thermoset cable jackets withstand heat and flame much better than thermoplastic. Thermoset materials have a much higher melting point than thermoplastic and require a lot more heat to sustain serious damage. While not entirely fireproof, the thermoset jacket’s ability to withstand heat will give you more time to respond in case of an emergency.
Flame Test Results
Thermoset Jackets in ATI's Ultra-Flexible Generator Cable
Our Type W cable assemblies and pigtails are made with a thermoset cable jacket. Each of our Type W products are UL/CSA listed and includes ROHS-approved components for performance that you can rely on. Type W extensions include Series 16 Camlocks in your choice of gender and color for effortless connections. Our pigtails include a Series 16 Camlock on one end and your choice of a blunt, lugged, or tinned end.
These ultra-flexible generator cables are incredibly versatile, and we recommend using our Type W products for applications in commercial, industrial, and residential settings. We offer cable assemblies and pigtails in your choice of length and #2 AWG through 4/0 AWG ranges to provide you with the flexibility you need to succeed in any application.
Invest in ultra-flexible generator cables today by clicking here to order your cable assemblies and pigtails. We offer free shipping with all online orders over $500 shipping within the continental United States. If you have any questions about our Type W cables or selections of portable power solutions, you can contact our Portable Power Experts by emailing PGG@ATIelectrical.com or dialing (800)-597-9311.