Leoni has developed a new industrial Ethernet cable for factory use in the food sector, which meets the highest demands in terms of hygiene. This is made possible by using a specially developed double jacket.
The food industry imposes quite particular requirements on the machinery and components deployed. For cables, this means, above all, a surface that is absolutely hygienic and good to clean. Furthermore, these products must obtain such specific approvals as the EHEDG Certificate and conform to the regulations of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
A double jacket made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and a thin FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene) layer is a key element to meet these multifaceted requirements. This involves the double jacket being extruded onto the cable in two layers, combining it into one unit. The PVC proportion provides the necessary flexibility as well as the prescribed jacket wall thickness. The FEP jacket protects the PVC substructure against aggressive cleaning chemicals, while simultaneously providing a very hygienic surface. Microbes and other micro-organisms have a tough time settling on it. FEP as the outer layer has many other advantages, too: For example, the surface is so smooth that dirt particles will not adhere to it in the first place. It is furthermore abrasion-proof and free of plasticisers and other additives. The FEP jacket is extruded transparently, meaning that the green PVC jacket is visible, and the cable can be clearly identified as an industrial Ethernet cable.
The PVC jacket’s flexibility also means that the cable can be used under heavy mechanical strain in a drag chain with up to 500,000 flex cycles. The cable can likewise resist torsion ±180° across a meter for one million cycles.
The cables’ mechanical strength is verified in our in-house drag chain testing facility in Friesoythe.
Both materials are furthermore self-extinguishing and therefore well suited to fulfil high fire protection requirements.
This allows the cable to be certified for installation in buildings in accordance with the EN 13501-6 ECA fire classification of construction products and building elements. The cable furthermore meets the fire protection requirements of UL 1685 (CSA FT 4) and has a UL AWM Style specifically created for this double jacket.
Image source: Courtesy of Leoni
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