With increasing demand across the construction sector for products that offer reduced, or are completely free of, plastic components, a manufacturer of fire resistant mineral insulated cables says specifiers and building designers can have the best of both worlds when it comes to building safety and environmental credentials.
Wrexham Mineral Cables produces what it describes as the only true ‘fire survival’ cable. Offering the highest levels of fire performance, the company says it is also seeing an increased interest in the environmental benefits of its products.
Government data recently revealed that plastic waste from the construction sector had risen by 46% in just two years. It follows on from comments made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that recycling plastics ‘doesn’t work’ and the industry needs to ‘cut down our use of plastics’ to solve the problem.
In order to reduce plastic within the supply chain, Wrexham Mineral Cables believe that by focusing on the green credentials of products, plastic waste can be significantly reduced. For example, MICC cable is a NON-AGEING product, and does not use any plastics to aid fire performance. WMC’s bare MICC cable option consists of just two materials: Copper & Magnesium Oxide. Neither will burn, and both elements are inorganic and non-carcinogenic. This results in no added smoke or toxins in a fire situation – creating no harm towards the natural environment. The copper used in the cables is 100% recyclable.
By comparison, the majority of other cables on the market require plastics or polymers to protect the conductors. A standard SWA 4 core 4mm cable can contain around 270g of plastic per 1 metre length – the equivalent of 54 plastic bags being sent to landfill.
Huw Williams, Factory Manager at Wrexham Mineral Cables, comments: “Reducing plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues in recent years. As a responsible manufacturer, we understand the role we can play in reducing the impacts our products have on the world around us.
“Although recycling efforts are changing, cables that contain artificial fire retardants are still extremely difficult to recycle, potentially resulting in tens of thousands of tons of unrecyclable plastic being sent to landfill.
“With our MICC Cable we don’t need polymer covers to aid fire protection. Our bare cable option consists of just two inorganic materials, where the copper element is 100% recyclable. The result is a totally inorganic and silicone free cable that maintains integrity in extreme fire conditions, whilst offering an environmentally friendly solution.”