Brady - Critical Testing and Properties of Cable and Wire Markers

Our thanks to Brady for allowing us to reprint the following article.

By: Nicole Nelson – Global Portfolio Manager, Wire and Cable Materials; Nyla Ahmad – Materials Engineer R&D; Jodi Zwickey – Customer Application Chemist, Brady Worldwide, Inc.

Introduction and Challenges

Industries that are driven by specifications, such as Aerospace, Defense, Mass Transit, Electrical and Control Systems, require high performance, durable solutions for their component, wire and cable identification solutions.

Therefore, materials science becomes critical in offering materials that are self extinguishing, chemical resistant, and able to withstand extreme environments, including high temperatures. Basic material construction, product improvements, print performance and the user application features become additional requirements, as well as the need for light-weight, flexible, conformable, and repositionable material for wire wrapping. The actual materials, set up, and labels are crafted and identified by chemistry and by specifications. Other performance needs, such as wrapped labels being used to reduce stress on connectors, become important on the final product design. Beyond that, business considerations include cost competitive choices with secured supply chains.

To remain competitive, companies are facing great challenges and are looking for opportunities to build better and safer products. Safety is a top priority; however conservation is important as well. The Boeing Environmental Report states: “Our customers want more airplanes that can be operated and maintained using less fuel and fewer hazardous chemicals.”1 From a macro view, this works to reduce prices and protect the environment for a customer. At a micro level, a supplier needs to build products that meet specifications and global compliance standards - from the large scale assembly down to the level the components are identified by a single label or wire wrap.

1 Creating a better Future: Message from Jim McNerney and Mary Armstrong http://www.boeing.com/aboutus/environment/environment_report_11/m essage01.html 2 http://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/pdf/facilities/MaterialsFIRE-TEST_Facil.pdf

What does this mean to identification materials?

Beyond consumers and suppliers, governing organizations such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are dedicated to safety by minimizing and eliminating fire in aviation. According to the FAA, one of the identified in-flight fire problems is hidden fire that occurs in an inaccessible location. This is where a wire and wire identification label is typically housed, thus there is a need for a highly specified and tested material solution. Materials can be tested to a number of standards and offer technical properties that help prevent flames and protect against other damaging elements, ensuring the wire identification will stay intact and remain legible.

While there are multiple options to identify wires, including heat-shrink sleeving, self-laminating wire labels and wire wraps, this whitepaper will use wire wraps as the basis for understanding the key performance requirements for harsh environment wire...



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