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Cable protection manufacturer PMA has revealed that it is supplying important components for wind turbine applications, proving that polyamide-based products offer good resistance to seawater.

Confirmed by PMA’s raw material suppliers, based on the chemical composition as well as long-term application experience in tough conditions, polyamide (or nylon) products exhibit good mechanical and physical properties over a range of application temperatures.

Nylon cable protection is also said to offer strength and flexibility as well as resilience against fungal decay, bad weather, rodents and many other factors that must be considered by engineers and designers in a range of industries.

Polyamide can therefore be used to make products for both internal and external use, from explosive environments to offshore platforms and ships.

Tony Hollands from PMA said: ‘Our polyamide products have been subjected to extensive testing to show their suitability for a range of application areas.

‘As well as the various accelerated test procedures, such as Xenon Arc UV radiation testing, we’ve also had a long-term weathering test running at our manufacturing facilities for more than 25 years.

‘We recommend the use of PMAflex type PCS (specially modified PA12) for outdoor applications because of its good all-round environmental characteristics, especially for applications exposed to high UV radiation.

‘Perhaps the best indication of the suitability of nylon (Polyamide 6 type) for applications exposed to seawater is the fact that it is the material most commonly used for the manufacture of fishing lines and nets,’ Hollands added.

Traditional materials, including plastics, are often predisposed to toughening or changes in their innate properties when exposed to high or low temperatures or levels of moisture content.

In order to provide consistent movement and flexibility, most PMA products have been modified to make them immune to climate changes of this kind.

Given the difficulty in repairing offshore turbines, this has led to a rise in the number of offshore applications using a more reliable polyamide cable protection.

The material’s qualities also make it suitable for photovoltaic and geothermal installations, solar heating, power generation, hydroelectric power stations and energy storage facilities in the form of potential energy, water or air pressure.

Over the last 12 months, PMA has provided components for the wind industry in particular, producing cable protection for US companies Clipper Windpower and GE Energy, as well as Vestas Wind Systems of Denmark and Fabricom of Belgium.

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