Wire and cable is often required to withstand mechanical motion and maintain useable properties. New England Wire Technologies has considerable experience in design and materials to extend flex life in standard and rigorous use situations.
While we test for many existing cable standards including a myriad of UL, CSA, ISO (agency multi) and other standards, the most important standard to meet is high performance in application. Specialized test fixtures have been developed in conjunction with the customer to more precisely match use. This allows tests to more accurately predict life or give better information to extend life. As an example, New England wire designed and built a flex tester to replicate the stresses generated when a cable is wrapped around a person’s hand (this has shown to be more destructive to many cables than the end use).
Smaller gauge sizes develop less stress when subjected to bending. As a result, conductors with finer stranding will survive a larger number of bending cycles without suffering fatigue in comparison to a conductor manufactured with a coarser single end wire.
High tensile strength copper alloys can be used to increase longevity with little impact to conductivity and other electrical parameters while tinsel can be used for ultimate flex life when resistance is not an important parameter.
Selection of plastics for longevity and flexlife is critical in designing for long life as well. Harder abrasion resistant plastics work well but choices are also available that maintain flexibility and flex life.