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Underground cables

Underground cables

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Published by Hany Kheir
Methods of laying underground cables, rubbers, PVC, polyethylenes, electric characteristics of cables, failure modes in cables, manholes, dissipation and power factor of cables insulation, measurement of inductance, capacitance & dissipation factor of cables, fault locating, cable terminations, application of cable splices, faulted circuit indicators, route tracing, classification of EPR & XLPE cables, cables parameters & testing, cables connectors and elbows testing.
Methods of laying underground cables, rubbers, PVC, polyethylenes, electric characteristics of cables, failure modes in cables, manholes, dissipation and power factor of cables insulation, measurement of inductance, capacitance & dissipation factor of cables, fault locating, cable terminations, application of cable splices, faulted circuit indicators, route tracing, classification of EPR & XLPE cables, cables parameters & testing, cables connectors and elbows testing.

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Published by: Hany Kheir on May 10, 2009
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03/13/2013

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 VePi Newsletters
The Electrical Power Systems Division The Underground distribution systems section Number: 3
Cables:
Laying underground cable methods:
Underground cables can be directly buried, can be put (pulled) in a conduit and buried (cable-in-a-conduit) or cables in conduits encased in concrete, fig. 1.7 .They consist of three essential parts: the conductor for transmitting electrical power, theinsulation medium required to insulate the conductor from direct contact with earth or otherobjects and the external protection cover to protect against mechanical damage, chemical orelectrochemical attack, fig. 1.7. Copper and aluminum conductors are found in undergrounddistribution cables. The conductor can be solid or stranded. The most commonly used insulatingmaterials in the medium voltage (primary) range are the cross-linked polyethylene and theethylene propylene rubber which are rated for continuous operation of 90 deg C. The concentricneutral or shielded tape (the metallic insulation shield) is applied on the insulationsemiconducting shield. The concentric neutral is wound helically and is made of annealeduncoated copper wires, usually. Under the concentric neutral, an equalizing tape (annealeduntinned copper tapes), each is applied in opposite direction to the other. There are a few waysand materials that are used as cable jackets. Briefly, they are sleeved or encapsulated, thematerial is PVC or linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE). Certain cables are used withoutany jackets. The PVC covering of cables comes as a sleeved jacket and a separator betweenconcentric neutral and the jacket. The LLDPE covering comes either as encapsulated jacket orsleeved. When LLDPE sleeves are used, a water blocking agent is used to prevent thelongitudinal travel of water in the space betwen the jacket and the insulation shield. The sameagent can be used with encapsulated jackets to fill the voids between the jacket and the neutral.In general for the same size cable, the sleeved cables are more flexible and is easier to handlethan the encapsulated ones.
 
R
ubbers:
Rubber materials can be classified into vulcanized rubber & synthetic rubber materials(elatomers).-Vulcanized rubber: rubber in its natural form it is considered an insulating material. The drawback is its property of absorbing moisture. The result of this draw back would be the loss of itsinsulating property. Hard or vulcanized rubber is produced by mixing rubber with 30% sulphur,other softeners and antioxidation or other compounding agents. The end result is an insulatingmaterial which is rigid, resilient and does not absorb moisture.When it comes to synthetic rubber materials (elastomers) known as rubbers, they can beclassified into: general purpose synthetics which have rubber like properties and special purposesynthetics which have better properties than rubber with respect to fire and oil resistingproperties. The four main types are: butyl rubber, silicone rubber, neoprene and styrene.Rubbers are hydrocarbon polymeric materials similar in structure to plastic resins. An elastomeris defined, per ASTM, as a polymeric material which at room temperature can be stretched to atleast twice its original length and upon immediate release of the stress it will return quickly toapproximately its original length. Certain types of plastics can approach the rubberlike state(polyethylenes). Others have elastomer grades, for example olefins, styrenes, fluorplastics andsilicones.-Butyl rubber: Also referred to as isobutylene- isoprene elastomer is copolymers of isobutylene
 
and about 1 to 3% isoprene. It is similar in many ways to natural rubber. It has excellentresistance, but it resists weathering, the sunlight and chemicals. This type of insulation, ingeneral, has lower mechanical properties (tensile strength, resilience, abrasion resistance andcompression set) than other elastomers. It has excellent dielectric strength, thus it can be usedfor cable insulation, encapsulating compounds and a variety of electrical applications.-Silicone rubber: is one member of the family of silicone elastomers. The elastomers arepolymers composed basically of silicon and oxygen atoms. They can be classified into generalpurpose, low temperature, high temperature, low compression set, high tensile-high tear, fluid-resistant. They are the most stable of all elastomers, they have good resistance to high and lowtemperatures, oils and chemicals. The silicone rubber is usually a long chain dimethyl siliconewhich can be vulcanized by cross linking the linear chains and can flow under heat andpressure. Basically, it consists of alternate silicon and oxygen atoms with two methyl groupsattached to each silicon atom. It resists heat, most chemicals (except strong acids and alkalies).The dielectric strength is 500 volt/mil (20KV per meter).-Neoprene: also known as chloroprene, it is the first commercial synthetic rubber. It ischemically, structurally and mechanically similar to natural rubber. It resists oils, chemicals,sunlight, weathering and aging. It is consumed by fire but it is non- combustible. It is relativelylow in dielectric strength.-Styrene-butadiene elastomers: sometimes called, Buna S are copolymers of butadiene andstyrene. The grades with styrene over 50% are considered plastics. A wide range of propertygrades exists by varying the relative amounts of styrene and butadiene. Styrene content variesfrom as low as 9% to up to 40%. They are similar in many ways to the natural rubbers.The insulating materials used with cables have the following properties: high insulationresistance, high dielectric strength, good mechanical properties, it should resist chemicalssurrounding it and it should be non hygroscopic, i.e., moisture and water resistant.
PVC:
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): it is a polymer derived, generally, from acetylene. It can be producedin different grades depending upon the polymerization process. PVC is inferior to vulcanizedrubber with respect to elasticity and insulation resistance. PVC when used with cables has to beprocessed with plasticizer. PVC can be classified into general purpose, hard grade PVC (has lessamount of placticizer) and heat resisting PVC.P
olyethylenes:
These thermoplastic resins include low density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low densitypolyethylene (LLDPE), high density polyethylenes (HDPE) and ethylene copolymers. Theadvantages to be gained with polyethylene are light weight, outstanding chemical resistance,mechanical resistance and excellent dielectric properties. The basic properties of polyethylenescan be modified with a broad range of fillers, reinforcements and chemical modifiers.Polyethylenes are considered easy to process: injection molding, sheet film extrusion, coatingextrusion, wire and cable extrusion coating, blow molding, rotational molding, pipe and tubeextrusion and others. The basic building blocks of polyethylene are: hydrogen and carbon atoms.

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