Here at Loos & Company, we know quite a bit about coated cable. From Military Specification Aircraft Control Cable, to mooring and fitness cable, our Extrusion Technologies department has perfected it all. We are often asked though, what is the difference between Vinyl and Nylon? What works better, Polyethylene or Polypropylene? Today, we are going to explore the properties of each polymer to make your decision much easier.
PVC is the most commonly used plastic for mechanical cable coatings. Reasonably priced and flexible, PVC carries excellent weatherability and UV resistance (something that degrades most plastics). Operating temperatures range from - 30°F (-35°C) to 180°F (80°C). Vinyl is supplied in a range of hardness and durometers - which create a spectrum from hard and stiff to soft and spongy. Color choices are endless, and can be matched to almost any color.
With ranging flexibility and chemical / fatigue resistance, our nylon jackets can be tailored to fit your application. When you need a jacketed cable with a high cycle life, nylon is what you are looking for. Our EXERFLEXPRO fitness cable and MIL-DTL-83420 Aircraft Cable are clear illustrations of its longevity.
Primarily used as electrical insulation. Through its wide acceptance and large production, PE has become one of the least expensive plastics. Flexible in thin coatings, and stiff in thick coatings, PE has limited abrasion resistance. Most mechanical cables will shy away from PE for this reason.
Polypropylene is used in many basic applications of mechanical cable. It carries good abrasion and chemical resistance, and is easy to process. Light in weight, and reasonably priced, Polypropylene is only hampered by a narrow operating temperature range. It is not recommended for applications below 0°F. UV rays degrade the material, giving it only fair weatherability.
So there you have it. Hopefully this will clear up any confusion you may have. However, if you are still unsure, feel free to Contact Us at the HotWire or Contact a Product Manager and they will gladly assist.