06/11/2023 – Cable manufacture / materials
Colouring of TPU Cables with a single masterbatch
Delta Tecnic, manufacturer of colour masterbatch for the cable industry, optimizes the colouring of special TPU cables to meet fire resistance requirements. The company manages to reduce the number of necessary references, assuming cost savings and greater production efficiency.
Delta Tecnic, a leading company in the production of masterbatch for the cable and PVC industry, simplifies the colouring of TPU cables with its innovative customized solution for colouring special cables. In a market where customization and quality are essential, the company has managed to simplify and optimize the process of colouring TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) cables by using a single masterbatch per colour despite using different TPU compounds with different flame retardant levels and different colour due to the use of different fire retardant loads.
TPU, one of the most widely used polymers in special cables, stands out for its resistance to rubbing and its ability to withstand continuous and mechanical movements. However, fire resistance is a critical factor in many applications, both in buildings and machinery. With the increase in fire safety related restrictions, the demand for more fire resistant TPU cables has been increasing.
To make TPU flame retardant, it is necessary to add fire retardant fillers, such as white-coloured mineral fillers. The more charges added, the higher the fire resistance. Currently, there are different grades of fire resistance in TPU on the market, each with a different shade of white. This has created challenges for cable manufacturers, as each grade of TPU requires a specific colour masterbatch.
A very significant reduction in required references
In this context, Delta Tecnic has been a success story by developing a single masterbatch capable of covering the same colour in the different ranges of TPU. This harmonization of cable colours allows cable manufacturers to simplify their production processes and significantly reduce required masterbatch references. Rather than having to use a specific colour masterbatch reference for each TPU compound according to its fire resistance, with the solution offered by Delta Tecnic, a single colour masterbatch covers the different TPU compounds, simplifying the number of references and unifying the final colour of the cables manufactured, regardless of the degree of flame retardant required.
The key to this solution lies in the economy of scale and the optimization of production. Although the masterbatch used for white-coloured TPU is more expensive due to the higher pigment load needed to obtain the correct colour, the increase in batch size and the consolidation of individual productions have enabled a single masterbatch to be obtained. This not only generates cost savings for manufacturers, but also a reduction in the material needed in inventory, freeing up work capital and standardizing the colour of the cables manufactured by their customers.
TPU has become increasingly important in the cable industry, especially in electric vehicle charging. Thanks to its flexibility, resistance and excellent properties for outdoor use, TPU is an optimal material for cables, used for applications such as charging stations and in electric vehicles themselves. This upward trend in demand for TPU has fuelled the need for efficient and customized solutions.
With its innovative approach, Delta Tecnic has established itself as a leader in the cable industry by providing efficient, fire-resistant colouring solutions adapted to the specific requirements of each manufacturer. This initiative highlights its commitment to excellence, the simplification of processes and the continuous search for solutions that improve quality and efficiency in the cable industry.
Manuel Miret, Area Manager and New Product Developer at Delta Tecnic, explains that “the solution we have developed for colouring special cables with polymers such as TPU marks an important advance in the industry. By offering a single masterbatch per colour capable of covering all ranges of TPU, we simplify and optimize cable production processes. It is a clear example of how customization and quality can go hand in hand in the cable industry, offering solutions adapted to the needs of each application”.
About Delta Tecnic
Delta Tecnic was born in 1982 to commercialize raw materials in the plastic, cable, ink, paint, and cosmetic industries with the distribution of leading brands worldwide. With more than 40 years of experience and a total of 20,000m² in facilities, with three production plants, two of them located in Barcelona (Spain) and one of them in Querétaro (Mexico), Delta Tecnic has grown to position itself as a company leader among Trading companies in Spain, as well as one of the main producers of Masterbatch for the cable and PVC industries globally. Among the three divisions of Delta Tecnic, DeltaColor Masterbatch stands out, whose production capacity reaches 18,000t/y. In addition, the division has more than 11,000 developments and 22 production lines. On the other hand, the Delta Trading Pigments and Plastics divisions distribute in leading firms such as Eckart, Cabot, Baerlocher, Cinic, or Aralon. With 3% of global turnover dedicated to R+D, the company is focused on technological innovation and quality of service, providing deep knowledge of the market and formulations, always optimizing customer processes to become a technology partner focused on product development and innovation. At present, it already exports to more than 60 countries with an export volume of 80%, becoming one of the main players in the market.