Silicone wire and cable is known for being extremely flexible and resistant to high temperatures, which makes it the material of choice in a variety of applications and industries that require an extremely flexible cable. Silicone wire is also flexible in the many applications and industries that it is used in for example, Calmont is involved in a wide spectrum of projects using silicone wire and cable ranging from medical implants, automotive ignition wires to applications where the wire was weaved into fabric and even used for art and decorative lighting.
Industries that use silicone wire include:
- Robotics and automation
One of the obvious benefits for using silicone for wire and cable is the flexibility. Silicone wire depending on the construction can be as limp as a piece of string. This type of wire is ideal with applications where routing a wire through a tight space is required such as, box builds, equipment, robotic arms or handheld devices. Other benefits include resistance to gasoline, alcohol-glycol. The temperature range for standard silicone is -60°C to 200°C and has excellent weather-ability. The downside to silicone is it’s abrasion resistance which is fair. Depending on the application this may have no impact, best uses are static installations or when the wire or cable is not subject to contact with sharp objects.
Fluorosilicone is another type which is widely used and has a significantly greater chemical resistance than silicone. It is resistant to hydrocarbon fluids (gasoline / diesel) and solvents. The temperature range varies by the grade. Most is 250C it is available up to 350C upon request. Fluorosilicone also has excellent flexibility and flame retardant properties.
Tell your wire and cable manufacturer any special requirements your application has to get the right silicone compound. There are different grades, and durometers available. Sometimes a special formula or additive may be needed to meet the requirements listed below.
A few options include:
- Medical grade
- Flame retardant
- Low smoke
- High temperature to 350°C
Silicone ribbon cables are often used in place of PVC ribbon cables when flexibility is required. Silicone ribbon cables can be extruded or manufactured using a special process to bond the conductors. The construction of the silicone ribbon cable can be from two conductors to over twenty depending on the manufacturer’s capabilities.
To compare the properties of insulation and jacket materials Click here.