Dow Wire & Cable, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”), today signaled a groundbreaking advance in sustainable chemistry by launching DOW ECOLIBRIUM™ Bio-Based Plasticizers, a new family of phthalate-free plasticizers for use in wire insulation and jacketing that are made from nearly 100% renewable feedstocks.
The use of DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers in PVC compounds for wire applications can help cable-makers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40%* if used instead of traditional PVC plasticizers. The new plasticizers were developed to meet growing demand for more sustainable options in wiring applications such as personal electronics and appliance wiring, residential and commercial building wiring, communications and data cabling, and automotive wiring.
“We are very excited about the commercial launch of DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers and our ability to help cable-makers use sustainable technology to differentiate their offerings in key industries,” said Jonathan Penrice, global marketing director for Dow Wire & Cable. “Our excitement stems from the use of nearly 100% renewable feedstock in the chemistry of these products and from the outcome of field trials conducted with a select group of customers. The field trials demonstrated that the new plasticizers exhibit the same performance and feel as incumbent PVC plasticizers while meeting all regulatory requirements for flame resistance.”
Penrice added: “DOW ECOLIBRIUM™ Bio-Based Plasticizers are truly a breakthrough for the wire and cable industry but their introduction here is just the tip of the iceberg -- in time they will also open up differentiation opportunities for OEMs in other industries that use PVC compounds.”
Dow Wire & Cable will license select cable makers to commercialize DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers consistent with its Dow Inside program. Cable manufacturers in the Dow Inside program are supported by Dow Wire & Cable’s forward-thinking technology, versatile products and enhanced services, backed by the strength of a creative and responsive supplier that can help offer a competitive edge in a demanding industry.
DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers offer specific benefits in terms of processing, electrical and temperature performance, and end-use for low and high temperature wiring applications in several key wire and cable market segments:
- Personal Electronics and Appliances – Wires jacketed with material that includes DOW ECOLIBRIUM can achieve an outstanding balance of flame retardance, flexibility and heat performance. In wiring for personal electronics the use of DOW ECOLIBRIUM can deliver on global OEM requirements for heat deformation resistance, flexibility and electrical performance.
- Building & Construction – DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers are phthalate-and lead-free, offering safe building wire options for end-users. By virtue of being bio-based, their production can also provide opportunities for cable-makers and building industry end-users to achieve carbon credits and, in the USA, certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating Systems. The new products are also effective in data communications delivery applications.
- Automotive – Wires used for the transmission of power and data inside passenger and commercial vehicles that are jacketed with material that includes DOW ECOLIBRIUM™ Bio-based Plasticizers can provide an environmentally-friendly solution that exhibits requirements for heat resistance and ease of installation.
The introduction of DOW ECOLIBRIUM Bio-Based Plasticizers provides another example of Dow’s commitment to deliver sustainable chemistry as part of its 2015 Sustainability Goals. Sustainable chemistry is a “cradle-to-cradle” concept that drives Dow to adopt a lifecycle view of its products, processes and product uses in order to provide value and solutions for its customers while enhancing the quality of life for current and future generations.