Bristol-based heat transfer specialist Fulton has supplied Prysmian Group’s Bishopstoke facility with a skid mounted electric boiler and ancillaries, and steam which is being used to cure the insulation applied to the company’s electric cables.
Commenting on the process, Prysmian’s Nicolas Chevaux explained that curing is used to strengthen and increase the heat resistance of the insulation. “Without the process, the insulation would have a lower temperature resistance and hence the cable would have a lower current rating.”
Following manufacture, batches of up to 16 drums are placed into a container where steam from Fulton’s EP100 Electropack boiler system is injected to start a curing process that can take up to twelve hours at 80°C.
The cable that uses this particular curing process is Prysmian’s 6491b low fire hazard wiring cable - a BS7211 BASEC approved single core conduit cable for wiring applications in buildings such as stadia, hospitals, cinemas/theatres, etc. Unlike PVC-based thermoplastic insulation found on standard 6491x cable, Prysmian’s 6491b cable uses a thermosetting low smoke material that doesn’t generate dense acidic fumes when burnt.
Commenting on the reasons for specifying Fulton, Chevaux said that experience was the main consideration as the technology has proved itself in a Prysmian Group site in South Wales, which is using the same unit for a similar curing process.
He goes onto say that an electrically heated boiler was specified as it can be applied as a point of use steam source without the need for a separate plant room typically associated with gas or oil fired systems. This option also makes the electric boiler system much quicker, easier and cheaper to install.