What are the differences between flame-retardant and halogen-free TPE outer jackets?

August 31, 2021 Katharina Esch

Cables are frequently designed with PVC or PUR outer jackets. In addition to those, igus® uses TPE (thermoplastic elastomers) materials. TPE is a very robust material that we use in high-end cables meant for challenging applications. Our product range includes two different TPE specifications: flame-retardant and halogen-free. In this blog post, we'll explain the differences between them. Let's get started. 

Halogen-free TPE

Halogen-free TPE is the original mixture which does not contain halogens (no bromine, fluorine, iodine, chlorine, etc.). A cable with this outer jacket is used for technically challenging applications. The material is slightly more robust than the flame-retardant TPE mixture. Halogen-free TPE is resistant to oils, including organic oils, and is well-suited for deep-freeze applications in temperatures as low as -31°F. It has the best abrasion properties inside a cable carrier and is used frequently in cleanroom applications. 

Flame-retardant TPE

TPE can also be produced in a flame-retardant variant. This is accomplished by adding a flame retardant additive to the TPE jacket material mixture. This additive makes the finished TPE jacket material no longer halogen-free. Instead, it makes the jacket implementable with UL. UL certification is essential for use in the US and Canada. Flame-retardant TPE is also resistant to oils, including organic oils, and is well-suited for deep-freeze applications in temperatures as low as -31°F. 

Why are there different types of TPE?

We've developed different TPE jacket materials to meet the requirements of various types of applications.

We consider exactly what the customer needs to develop materials with appropriate advantages so that they can have a reliable application with an extended service life. Also, with different regions of the world following different safety standards, we must make sure that we can offer the same high-level mechanical quality to anyone looking for a cable solution.  

If you have questions or need more information about implementing TPE chainflex® cables into your application, contact us here or call (800) 521-2747.

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