T&D World Magazine

Bio-Based Plasticizers for Wire and Cable

Dow Wire & Cable has launched DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers, a new family of phthalate-free plasticizers for use in wire insulation and jacketing that are made from nearly 100% renewable feedstocks. The use of DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers in PVC compounds for wire applications can help cable-makers and original equipment manufacturers reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40%* if used instead of traditional PVC plasticizers. The new plasticizers were developed to meet growing demand for more sustainable options in wiring applications such as personal electronics and appliance wiring, residential and commercial building wiring, communications and data cabling, and automotive wiring.

Dow Wire & Cable will license select cable makers to commercialize DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers consistent with its Dow Inside program. Cable manufacturers in the Dow Inside program are supported by Dow Wire & Cable’s forward-thinking technology, versatile products and enhanced services, backed by the strength of a creative and responsive supplier that can help offer a competitive edge in a demanding industry.

DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers offer specific benefits in terms of processing, electrical and temperature performance, and end-use for low and high temperature wiring applications in several key wire and cable market segments:

  • Personal Electronics and Appliances – Wires jacketed with material that includes DOW ECOLIBRIUM can achieve an outstanding balance of flame retardance, flexibility and heat performance. In wiring for personal electronics the use of DOW ECOLIBRIUM can deliver on global OEM requirements for heat deformation resistance, flexibility and electrical performance.
  • Building & Construction – DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers are phthalate- and lead-free, offering safe building wire options for end-users. By virtue of being bio-based, their production can also provide opportunities for cable-makers and building industry end-users to achieve carbon credits and, in the USA, certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating Systems. The new products are also effective in data communications delivery applications.
  • Automotive – Wires used for the transmission of power and data inside passenger and commercial vehicles that are jacketed with material that includes DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-based Plasticizers can provide an environmentally friendly solution that exhibits requirements for heat resistance and ease of installation.

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