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Wire Journal News

April 2021

Champlain Cable is now approved by New York City Transit (NYCT) for thin-wall irradiation cross-linked TX-TW rail car wiring. This significant industry approval demonstrates our continued commitment to our Vision of innovative, value-added products for demanding environments. With our material science and processing technology, this product line further enhances our ability to offer a broad range of products over a wide variety of applications and markets.

“Champlain is excited to expand our market presence into the rail transit market with our EXAR-Rail line of products.” stated Bruce Sinnott, Champlain’s Vice-President of Business Development. “This qualification involved a united team effort across multiple departments at Champlain Cable. We are all very proud of this tremendous accomplishment.”

This thin-wall cable is typically used on rolling stock where weight and space utilization is a primary focus. These thin-wall wires can be up to 1/3 smaller than standard 600V rail wiring, which allows more circuits in limited spaces. Advanced polymer formulation and irradiation crosslinking allow for these thin-wall designs.

Champlain Cable Corporation is a premier manufacturer of Irradiation Cross-linked wire and cable serving the Rail, Automotive, Commercial Vehicle, UL / CSA, Military Shipboard and specialty Data Communication markets. Champlain’s products provide cost-effective solutions to wire and cable performance and processing problems. Champlain is headquartered in Colchester, VT and has two additional manufacturing facilities in El Paso, TX.

For more information about Champlain Cable Corporation, please visit www.champcable.com

Published in Press Releases

4/9/2021: The U.S. Navy uses thoriated tungsten wire (W-Th) in their radar equipment. A small piece of W-Th is used inside high power microwave vacuum tubes to amplify radar signals. While W-Th has a good source of electrons and can operate at high temperatures, over time it can decay. One drawback is that making the wire produces hazardous byproducts, which is why the Navy is asking the industry for help. It wants a new material to replace W-Th that offers the same performance parameters yet is made in a more environmentally friendly process.

The Navy has several suggestions. One is improving W-Th wire performance by using additives. The majority of W-Th is tungsten, with 1% thorium oxide by weight. Another solution could be applying alternative wire surface coatings that would need to have a low work function, and be resistant to deformation at 1600°C. The Navy has already tested alloys of cerium and lanthanum with tungsten wire, but it is looking for a new process or alternative materials that can be used in the vacuum tubes, and operate within the same voltage and temperature as the W-Th wire.

Since the diameter of the wire used in the vacuum tubes is small, about 35 AWG, and each tube would only use about an inch of wire. The total length needed would depend on the number of tubes needed. An estimated 15 km of wire would be needed per year, notes Brady Walter, the science and technology contact at the Indiana Innovation Institute (IN3), which is a partner in the project.

The Navy is open to industry proposals. Anyone with expertise on the subject can submit a response, and a security clearance is not needed. The deadline for submissions has been extended to May 15, 2021. IN3 is working with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, on this project. The Navy ultimately decides if a proposal will be accepted, and if so, it will provide the funds. Enquiries about the project and submissions can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in The Basics

4/9/2021: Wire buyers, manufacturers and investors who are planning for the upcoming year should see price spikes in wire and cable, specifically copper and silver, which is a healthy sign for the U.S. economy.

After the Covid-19 manufacturing slump, companies continue to ramp up. The pent-up demand for wire and cable reflects what should be a manufacturing boom. Other reasons include coronavirus vaccine roll-outs helping more people return to business as usual, China’s manufacturing recovery after the pandemic and President Biden’s American Jobs Plan infrastructure proposal that includes green initiatives such as electric cars and clean energy.

Once upon a time, the price of copper was talked about in pounds, and there were long periods when it was generally stable at about a dollar. Today, though, most of the world follows the price of copper by the metric ton, and it has been far from stable in recent years. Per MetalMiner, the price rose from $4,371 per metric ton in March 2020 to $8,631 in February 2021. Spurring the increase is China ramping up manufacturing and the need for copper in renewable energy products, electric vehicles, telecommunications, construction and transportation.

Yet where copper prices go from here is not so simple. It depends on who you listen to. One school of thought is that prices may not remain bullish. The initial rise in prices may fall back by year-end, once the supply crunch for copper rebounds with added production and orders being filled. But the view from the Trafigura Group, the world’s largest copper trader, is that copper prices could top $10,000 a metric ton this year, and as much as $15,000 a metric ton in the coming decade as demand from global decarbonization produces a deep market deficit.

Silver is another metal on the rise. It is used to plate copper in PTFE-insulated wiring conductors, but much demand stems from vast industrial demand for solar panels, the global roll out of 5G technology and jewelry production. The Silver Institute, a sterling organization, predicts that the price of silver, which rose from $16.19 per ounce in 2019 to $20.52 per ounce in 2020, could rise by 46% to a seven-year high of $30. Another cause in the spike in prices was a Reddit social media post encouraging a short squeeze on silver. The increase in silver prices will likely impact the rest of the wire and cable supply chain.

Published in The Basics

4/9/2021: Who hasn’t seen a slew of birds sitting in a line along overhead wires, all facing the same way, and wondered: why are they doing that? Is it really that comfortable there?

It turns out that there is no one reason. Birds perch on wires because they are resting, preening, scouting out the territory for prey (if they’re a predator) or for predators (if they’re likely to be the meal). They also like to sleep in high places for protection. Birds also gather on wires to look for a date and check out the competition. Conservation biologist Mark LaBarr of Audubon Vermont says that in late summer and early fall, birds congregate on wires as they prepare for their long migration south. It’s also easier for some birds than others to do this. Songbirds, also known as passerines, have four toes, three of which are directed forward and one backward, that allows them to firmly clasp onto branches … and telephone lines. 

Published in The Basics

4/8/2021: WEBINAR ALERT

April 28, 10-10:45 AM CDT: Processing Techniques for Moisture Cure Cross-Linkable Polyethylene (XLPE) Used in Manufacturing Wires & Cables | PEXIDAN®
SACO AEI’s PEXIDAN® Cross Linkable Wire & Cable Compounds have led the industry in performance and efficiency for more than two decades. This webinar will discuss best practices and processing techniques for extruding moisture cure XLPE. This webinar is a must see for technical processing staff and key production managers. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

1. Differences between XLPE and Thermoplastic Extrusion
2. Proper set-up of XLPE Wire Extrusion Line
3. Do’s and Don’ts of XLPE Processing
4. Meet the SACO AEI Technical Services Team
5. 10 Minute Q&A Session


Presenters
Dale Zevotek, Application Development Leader. With over 25 years in plastics processing (W&C, extrusion, injection molding, compounding, and blow molding). Dale Zevotek brings an experienced and determined approach to any processing challenge. Having started in Fiber Optics Operations/Engineering and worked his way through Copper Data, Compounding, Power Cable Production and Molding there is an encyclopedia of applications and processes background to draw from. Mr. Zevotek received his Engineering Degree from the United States Naval Academy and furthered his education with a Master’s of Business Administration from Pfeiffer University in Charlotte, NC.

Emily Vrbensky, Application Development Leader. Emily graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Polymer Science and Engineering. She has worked in the Wire & Cable industry since graduating, starting out as a Materials Engineer at a wire and cable manufacturer. She joined the SACO AEI team in 2019 as an Application Development Leader, bringing with her a unique view of customer needs and processing issues common to wire and cable extrusion.

For questions and more information, contact Ayushi Gangwal, Technical Sales Engineer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in Press Releases

4/8/2021:  It may still be seven months away, but the staging of Interwire 2021 this October seems more officially real with the map on the next page, and a show floor pledge that the Atlanta show will offer something the wire and cable industry has never before seen: a full-fledged display of Industry 4.0.

As explained in WJI's March issue, attendees will be able to see first-hand how the essence of the technology works and interact with experts who will be at the Industry 4.0 Pavilion on the exhibit floor at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. There will be lots more information to come in future issues as this Interwire will offer a comprehensive program on Industry 4.0 that is unlike anything that the Wire Association International has done before.

Yet the logistics matter, and that means reserving a place to stay. WAI has secured special rates for Interwire, to be held Oct. 26-27. To get that rate, reservations must go through the official housing administrator. EventSphere, LLC.

To review the options, go to either https://book.passkey.com/go/Interwire2021 or access the site at www.interwire21.com. The reservation deadline is Oct. 4. EventSphere LLC can also be contacted at tel. 877-419-8753 or (international) 864-208-2945, interwire@eventspher


Published in WAI News

4/8/2021: The ongoing seven-week virtual staging of the Fundamentals of Wire Manufacturing Course (Fundamentals) continues to reflect the demand that exists in the industry for basic information.

Of note, the program will be repeated in a hybrid form at Interwire 2021. The current program—seven consecutive sessions (two presentations each) started on consecutive Wednesdays that began March 17 and concludes April 28—presents a comprehensive education. Topics covered include: mechanics of wiredrawing/drawing dies and lubricants; wire breaks and surface damage; stranding cable; cleaning and coating of rod and wire; ferrous heat treatment and metallurgy; extrusion; testing; marking/printing; and manufacturing problem solving. Each course is presented by industry veterans, and provides 30 more minutes than the traditional in-person program.

Attendance during the Covid-19 period has been quite good. Registration for a three-part WAI webinar program by Dr. Horace Pops—also a Fundamentals presenter—closed out at 500 before the first one (annealing) was held on Jan. 27, followed by fines on Feb. 3 and wire breaks on Feb. 10.
In terms of the ongoing Fundamentals series, registration reflects a continuing trend of more companies signing up multiple staffers. Mexico’s Viakable had 31 participants: 11 from Colombia, four from Brazil, three from the U.S. and 13 from Mexico.

“I believe this is a great opportunity for expanding the benefit of this course to a much broader base considering the value proposition in terms of money and time invested for this high-quality content,” said Raúl Garcia, Viakable’s director of technology and development.

Published in WAI News

4/7/2021: WEST DUNDEE, Illinois – HELUKABEL recently announced that multiple PVC-jacketed control and motor cables have recently been tested and certified by ECOLAB for use during washdown processes found typically in the food and beverage industries.

The newly certified control and motor cable families are suitable for various stationary, flexing, and continuous-flex/drag chain applications. The products that were subjected to the 28-day test using cleaning/disinfecting substances Topactive 200, Topactive 500, P3-topax 66, P3-topactive OKTO, and P3-topax 990 along with demineralized water (used for zero-reference value) were:

PVC/Nylon Insulated, PVC Jacketed, NFPA 79 Compliant Control Cables
• TRAYCONTROL® 300 / TRAYCONTROL® 300-C
• TRAYCONTROL® 300 TP / TRAYCONTROL® 300 TP-C
• TRAYCONTROL® 500 / TRAYCONTROL® 500-C
• TRAYCONTROL® 530
• TRAYCONTROL® 600 / TRAYCONTROL® 600-C
• MULTIFLEX 600 / MULTIFLEX 600-C 

XLPE Insulated, PVC Jacketed, NFPA 79 Compliant Control Cable
• TRAYCONTROL® X XLPE Insulated, PVC Jacketed, NFPA 79 Compliant VFD Motor Cables
• TOPFLEX® 600 VFD

The cable families mentioned above were tested in accordance with ECOLAB test PM 40-1, which requires cables to be completely immersed in the various cleaning/disinfecting substances for up to 28 days at constant room temperature. Upon complete of the immersion test cables are then subjected to visual inspection to see if any swelling, brittleness or discoloring has occurred in comparison to the cables immersed in demineralized water.

Additional information on each of the ECOLAB cleaning/disinfecting substances used in the testing process:
• Topactive 200: Alkaline, chlorine-free foam cleaner in the food and beverage industries
• Topactive 500: Acid foam cleaning substance for the food and beverage industries
• P3-topax 66: Alkaline foam cleaning detergent with active chlorine for machine cleaning in the food and beverage industries
• P3-topactive OKTO: Acid disinfectant based on peracetic acid/hydrogen peroxide for the food and beverage industries
• P3-topax 990: Neutral, non-oxidizing disinfecting agent for foam application in the food and beverage industries

HELUKABEL USA, Inc. is the wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of HELUKABEL GmbH, a leading international manufacturer of cables and wires, with 55 locations in 36 countries throughout the world. 

Published in Press Releases

4/7/2021: On May 5, attorney Katherine Witherspoon Fry will present a one-hour webinar to address ways to limit legal liability and provide advice for creating a business plan that minimizes your workplace’s exposure to Covid-19 while maintaining productivity.

Fry is an employment law partner at the Pennsylvania-based law firm of Offit Kurman. She has 26 years of experience in employment law as a litigator, advisor, and mediator. She advises clients and litigates cases nationwide, and has made two appearances before to the U.S. Supreme Court. She also teaches HR law as an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware and is a Delaware Supreme Court-appointed hearing officer and certified mediator. She is a graduate of Duke University and the New York University School of Law.

The webinar, which will start at 1:30 pm EDT, will include a 50-minute presentation followed by 10 minutes for questions. Fry plans to present the “latest & greatest” in terms of new developments for policies, standards and more. Participants who have a topic they would like Fry to address can send it to her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“We think that members will benefit from Katherine’s expertise,” said chapter President John Accorsi, senior account/product manager, M. Holland. “The presentation will be forward-looking in terms of employees returning to the workplace as business travelers, with the pandemic hopefully in our rear-view mirror.”

“This program is actually a real education event that the New England Chapter is pleased to be able to offer to everyone,” said Lori Parent, who co-chairs the chapter’s education committee with Jonathan Rufe, Rainbow Rubber and Plastics, Inc.

The webinar is free to all WAI members and to non-members who sign up for a one-year membership prior to the event at a special rate of $75, with chapter membership added for $15. For more details on the event, and to register, go to wirenet.org.

Published in WAI News

4/6/2021: Rosendahl Nextrom reports that it has completed the extension at its site in Pischelsdorf, Austria, which has seen the addition of some 3,000 sq m over two levels.

A press release said that the newly created space was for the mechanical assembly, steel construction and warehouse departments. This warehouse was also partially built with a basement, resulting in a storage height of a good 16 m. The focus was on making work processes and daily work even more efficient. For example, automated parallel vertical storage systems were installed so orders could be processed even faster and more efficiently. Furthermore, the production processes have also been automated and thus improved.

“All in all, a very functional hall is now available,” the release said. The infrastructure design makes the hall future-proof and flexible. “Of course, good building physics is also important in order to be able to operate the hall economically in the future.

Published in Industry News
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