Pthalate-free plasticizers enable eco-friendly cables

April 13, 2010
Dow says users of its Ecolibrium technology can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 40 percent.

The Ecolibrium line of bio-based plasticizers from Dow Wire and Cable is a pthalate-free technology meant for use in wire insulation and jacketing. Dow says the plasticizers "are made from nearly 100% renewable feedstocks." The Dow Chemical Company conducted lifecycle analysis tests, which were third-party reviewed, on cables made with these bio-based plasticizers and concluded the technology "can help cable-makers and original equipment manufacturers reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40% if used instead of traditional PVC plasticizers."

Related article: General Cable introduces halogen-free riser-rated cable.

Dow Wire and Cable's global marketing director Jonathan Penrice stated, "Field trials demonstrated that the new plasticizers exhibit the same performance and feel as incumbent PVC plasticizers while meeting all regulatory rquirements for flame resistance." Ecolibrium plasticizers are intended for use in a variety of wire and cable applications, including personal electronics, appliances, automotive, building and construction, as well as data communications. Penrice's statement about flame resistance is not a declaration that Ecolibrium products enable communications cables to achieve specific flame and smoke ratings such as riser or plenum.

The company stated it will license select cable manufacturers to commercialize Ecolibrium plasticizers, consistent with its Dow Inside program.

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