Flexible and light New silicone rubber for moulding: Insulation covering material for EV cables

Source: Shin-Etsu Chemical

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Japanese company Shin-Etsu Chemical has developed a new silicone rubber for moulding that is optimal as an insulation covering material for high-voltage cable used in automobiles. According to the company, this new product realises significant improvements in flexibility and lighter weight for high-voltage cable.

High-voltage cable used in an electric vehicle
High-voltage cable used in an electric vehicle
(Source: Shin-Etsu Chemical)

In electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), drive systems increasingly require higher-voltage/larger current cable. Because of this, high withstand voltage characteristics are being sought after for high-voltage cable for EVs and HEVs. Accordingly, when the currently existing insulation covering material is used in order to secure the insulation's performance, the covering layers of the cable become too thick and the cable becomes inflexible and therefore problematic to handle and to route through the interior of a vehicle. Thus, automobile manufacturers are seeking high-voltage cable that has superior flexibility that makes wiring easier to handle.

Shin-Etsu Chemical’s new silicone rubber for moulding has been designed to solve these issues. Its high withstand voltage characteristics, even when the high-voltage cable's insulation system covering layers are made thinner, superior insulation performance is secured. In addition, the thinness of the covering layers leads to a significant improvement in the flexibility of the cable, and at the same time, it realizes a thinner diameter and lighter weight high-voltage cable.

It realizes the industry's top-level high dielectric withstand voltage (DWV) characteristics. Its dielectric breakdown strength is 40 kV/mm. Because it is made of silicone rubber, this new product combines characteristics, such as strong resistance to heat and cold, weatherability and flame retardancy.

In addition to its usage for vehicles, the new product can also be used as an insulation covering material in high-voltage cables for applications in such fields as industrial machinery, railroad equipment, and energy plants, and it will contribute to higher performance and improved reliability.


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