SEOUL -- Hanwha Total Petrochemical has developed a recyclable polypropylene insulator certified by a government standards organization as suitable for electric wires, breaking
the conventional notion that it is difficult to use such a thermoplastic polymer as an insulating material.
Various insulating materials have been introduced for electrical wires such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene, rubber-like polymers, oil-impregnated paper and silicone. More recently, alternative materials are increasingly used due to environmental regulations.
Polypropylene is used in a wide variety of applications. Its properties are similar to polyethylene, but it is slightly harder and more heat resistant. Polypropylene has been considered difficult to use as power cables. However, Hanwha Total said it has utilized its own technology to commercialize polypropylene power cable insulators.
The company said its product has been certified by the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards as new excellence technology, a system that approves outstanding technologies for state support in marketing and sales.
Hanwha Total, which is a joint venture between Hanwha General Chemicals and Total S.A., a French integrated oil and gas company, regards polypropylene insulators as a high value-added product that can improve power transmission efficiency by about 10 percent due to increased insulation function.
"It was a research project that was personally meaningful as we succeeded in commercializing it, breaking the conventional notion that it is difficult to use polypropylene as an insulator for power cables," Lee Eun-woong, a senior Hanwha Total researcher, said in a statement on December 16.
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