A new flexible version of Noryl PPE alloy from GE Advanced Materials, Pittsfield, Mass., enables Delphi Packard Electric Div. in Warren, Ohio, to produce ultra-thin wire and cable insulation weighing up to 25% less and taking up less space. The custom formulation, called Flexible Noryl WCV072, includes a polyolefin component. The alloy is currently being prototyped and will make its commercial debut on a 2007 model vehicle. About 60% of the automotive wire market today is PVC-coated and there is about one mile of wire in a typical car, according to Delphi. Flexible Noryl is claimed to offer better properties than PVC or crosslinked PE and is also recyclable and halogen-free. The flame-retardant material is rated for a 110 C service temperature, while PVC is rated 85 C. Further developments should boost Flexible Noryl’s rating to 125 C.
The replacement of standard 0.4-mm-thick cable insulation made of crosslinked PE with 0.2-mm-thick insulation made of flexible Noryl results in a size reduction of about 25%. Another benefit of smaller cable bundles is the use of less tape and secondary covering, which reduces cost. Delphi is validating the material for insulation on cable as small as 26 gauge.
The GE material reportedly offers excellent chemical resistance, better abrasion resistance than XLPE, and lower specific gravity (1.03) than either PVC or XLPE. It meets the requirements of Class A and B wire heat aging, and versions to meet Class C requirements are in the final stages of development. Flexible Noryl is said to be priced competitively with XLPE. The material is also being used in consumer electronics: LTK Industries, a leading Hong Kong wire and cable maker, is using Flexible Noryl to coat AV cable, according to GE.