NMW 2004: Lapp USA launches lead-free initiative

Chicago, IL—Lapp USA reported at National Manufacturing Week 2004 that it has started manufacturing its cables with lead-free components.


Chicago, IL— Lapp USA reported at National Manufacturing Week 2004 that it has started manufacturing its cables with lead-free components. Lapp is part of the worldwide Lapp Group of companies.

As a result of recent lawsuits in California against manufacturers of wire and cable products that violated the state's Proposition 65, as well as environmental and safety issues, the Lapp Group undertook a three-year development effort, and started Jan. 1 to manufacture all its new standard cable jackets and insulation without using lead-containing compounds. Lapp's lead-free components will be identified by the designation 'pbf' on the jacket print legends.

Lapp adds that the amount of lead in formulations of electrical insulation vary by approximately 2-6%, based on one pound of raw, virgin material. The main, historical reason for adding lead to formulations of PVC wire and cable is that these formulation compounds require stabilizers to achieve flexibility and maintain durability. Without stabilizers, PVC insulation would not be able to maintain its physical, thermal, and electrical performance capabilities.

Until now, the firm reports that cost of materials, R&D, compliance with regulatory testing agencies, and other issues have delayed the widespread availability of lead-free compounds.

To start manufacturing lead-free products, Lapp developed lead-free compounds that pass all applicable UL requirements under UL Standard 83, including the long-term wet insulation resistance test, which can last up to 36 weeks.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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