What are the benefits of EPR insulated cables?

Ethylene Propylene Rubber is a generic term for a wide range of polymers based on copolymers of ethylene and propylene. It is one of a number of rubber insulation materials. The EPR polymers can be tailored for different applications.

EPR is widely used as an insulation material for electric cables due to its high dielectric strength but it is also used as a sheathing material exhibiting excellent ozone and weathering resistance. EPR has a wide thermal range typically in the region of -55°C to 150°C. Unlike other organic rubbers, the copper conductor does not need to be tinned to prevent deterioration of the rubber.

EPR rubber is noticeably softer than Natural rubbers and Styrene-Butadiene rubbers so can be used as a replacement material in many applications. Where greater hardness is required, the EPR compound can be blended with polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) to achieve improved physical properties. Mechanical properties include resistance to compression, cutting, impact, tearing and abrasion.

Although EPR does not offer a good resistance to oils, it is resistant to a wide range of other chemicals including many acids, alkalis and organic solvents. It is also highly resistant to moisture.

Like XLPE insulation, EPR insulation is suitable for many higher voltage applications and whilst its dielectric properties are not as good as those of XLPE it does have some important advantages over XLPE including extra flexibility, reduced thermal expansion, and low sensitivity to water treeing.

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