GE Advanced Materials has introduced a new family of flexible NORYL® modified-polyphenylene ether (MPPE) resin as an alternative to polyvinyl chloride (PVC), flame-retarded polyethylene (FR-PE), and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) in wire-coating applications for the direct-current (DC) cord and plug segments of the consumer electronics industry.
The new products - NORYL WCD910 and NORYL WCP860 resins - have passed bending-strength tests by charger manufacturers, address eco-label flame-retardant application concerns, and, unlike PVC, contain no halogens, such as chlorine, which can break down into dioxins and toxic, highly acidic gases when burned. The new GE resins also offer a lower specific gravity than FR-PE and TPU - weight reductions of 20 to 30 percent are achievable - as well as faster extrusion rates for potentially higher productivity and lower systems costs.
NORYL WCD910 and NORYL WCP860 resins address several important needs of the electronics cord/plug segment, particularly the global move away from the use of halogenated compounds towards polymers of less environmental concern. Halogenated compounds, while effective at suppressing fires, typically give off highly acidic gases when they do burn. Hence, Europe and Asia are moving to the use of non-halogenated materials and are also calling for a reduction or elimination of heavy-metal pigments, which also raise environmental concerns. Additionally, there is strong incentive to use polymers that can easily be recycled - both in the plant and at the end-of-component life - which favours thermoplastics over thermosetting polymers. Both materials’ suppliers and OEMs in these highly competitive segments are extremely interested in opportunities for cost-effective environmental solutions beyond those that currently exist.
The new flexible NORYL resin grades have been designed to help meet these and other changing needs of the electronics, electrical, computing, and telecommunications sectors in a number of ways. They are non-halogenated, contain no heavy-metal pigments, offer broad thermal performance, and are lighter and more flexible than many competitive thermoplastics. Because they have higher flow characteristics, they can process faster for potentially increased productivity and reduced systems costs vs. FR-PE and TPU.