Hitachi Cable has introduced a new line of halogen-free, heat resistant LAN cables designed especially for use in rolling stock applications, i.e. railroad transportation. Part of the company's related product lines, the new cables are highly heat resistant and able to withstand temperatures of 90 deg C, while satisfying the fire safety standards required for EN [European Norm] Enhanced Category 5.
Demand for high-speed and large-capacity information and telecommunication services such as Internet connections and video sharing in rolling stock is spreading along with the implementation of rapid railroad projects. LAN cables specifically designed for Ethernet connections in rolling stock are being used as communication lines inside rail systems. Further, as Ethernet is gaining acceptance in furnishing advanced features for railroad operation and control systems, demand for LAN cables for Ethernet installation with cabling for rolling stock vehicle control is also increasing.
Hitachi Cable's new halogen-free heat resistant LAN cables for rolling stock use special flame-resistant cross-linked polyethylene as sheaths. The company says it developed this special flame-resistant cross-linked polyethylene using polymer compounding technologies accumulated over years of making various types of wires and cables. The new cable sheaths feature heat resistance to temperatures up to 90 deg C -- much higher than the heat resistance of conventional products, which generally maxes out at temperatures of 60 deg C, according to the company.
The company maintains that the use of its flame-resistant cross-linked polyethylene developed for the new product line ensures a high level of fire safety required for wires and cables for rolling stock in the EN, which means a high level of fire resistance, low smoke emission, and low toxicity. Further, reducing the cable's sheath thickness as much as possible while retaining a high level of fire resistance makes the cable resistant to thermal expansion and shrinkage while retaining electric performance, which satisfies requirements for Enhanced Category 5 in high temperature environments up to 90 deg C.
According to Hitachi Cable, as measures to reduce CO2 emissions are re-inforced in the effort to mitigate global climate change, railroad transportation is receiving attention for its low energy consumption and low CO2 emissions per traffic volume, resulting in the reduction of global environmental load. Demand for wires and cables for rolling stock is increasing in overseas markets, contends the company, including rapid railroad projects being implemented mainly in Europe and Asia.