/images/TDUpdate.jpg/images/southwire_100x70.jpgDamage Control for Buried 600V Just Got Easier - 2005DamageControlForBuried600VJustGotEasierApril2005.htmSecond-generation sealant from Southwire promises easier control of the cost of failures in direct-buried 600V UD service cables. Some utilities see thousands of 600V UD failures in a year, and the expense mounts up in a hurry.
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Damage Control for Buried 600V Just Got Easier - 2005

Second-generation sealant from Southwire promises easier control of the cost of failures in direct-buried 600V UD service cables. Some utilities see thousands of 600V UD failures in a year, and the expense mounts up in a hurry. Besides the dollar-value of repairs, a backhoe in your customer's yard generates significant costs in good will.

"SureSeal self-healing 600V UD cables have already gained a reputation for protecting direct-buried services from the main source of penetration problems: minor damage from shovels or debris, and lightning surges," says Stephen Spruell, Southwire senior product engineer. "But anything that's good can be improved. So we've made SureSeal easier to install and to handle - while keeping the same penetration protection."

SureSeal stops the failure mechanism

The corrosion that destroys buried aluminum conductors begins when a small insulation break lets water seep into in the cable. The moisture starts an electrolytic process that can eventually turn the entire aluminum conductor into fluffy, white, aluminum oxide powder. Depending on soil and moisture conditions, failures can occur over a long period of time, or in a matter of weeks.

To prevent this destructive cycle, SureSeal UD cables contain channels filled with a sealant material that flows into insulation breaks. The sealant blocks the moisture that drives the corrosion process and also provides excellent insulation properties.

Second-generation sealant needs no mastic

Now, SureSeal cables are using a second-generation sealant: an advanced, proprietary visco-elastic compound that flows at a controlled rate. The visco-elastic quality of the new sealant lets it flow quickly to seal insulation faults while limiting the total range of flow.

"The new flow-limitation characteristic eliminates the need for mastic to close off the sealant channels when terminating the cable," Spruell says. The new cable is easier to handle, and elimination of the mastic allows a cleaner, simpler installation. Like the original SureSeal, the improved version takes standard fittings.

SureSeal delivers the preferred direct-burial solution

Utilities have been using SureSeal successfully since its introduction in 2001, especially in harsh applications, such as coastal areas with abundant ground-water, and areas where the soil is particularly rocky. Other application hotspots include recent subdivisions where home owners are likely to be digging to plant shrubs and trees. One major utility uses SureSeal in all their street light installations.

In reducing the cost of buried service failures, SureSeal offers a more cost-effective alternative to deeper burial, copper service cables, and cable-in-conduit installations. The SureSeal sealant-channel design also continues to provide better insulation bonding and cleaner stripping than self-healing designs that use a longitudinal tape to contain the sealant.

"An ounce of prevention - the sealant in a SureSeal cable - is worth a pound of cure when you dig up a customer's yard," says Spruell. "This is yet another example of Southwire improving an existing product to deliver better performance to our customers."

SureSeal cables automatically seal insulation breaks to protect aluminum conductors from corrosion.