We are used to household appliances being supplied with a three-pin plug moulded to the cable. This is a thermoset technology and serves our domestic use well. The platforms our customers require cabling solutions for operate in environments that could barely be more different to those in which washing machines or television sets are used.
Our customers need to connect systems operating deep under water or at altitude, as well as at varying levels of humidity, temperature and chemical exposure, each one of which may change rapidly. Due to the criticality of the dependent system, cabling solutions must work first time, every time for decades.
SMI’s thermoplastic technology
SMI’s thermoplastic technology might look similar to a domestic approach but the science and resulting capabilities are very different.
Thermoplastic is a material that becomes softer when heated and hard when cooled. Thermoplastic can be cooled and heated several times without any change in its chemistry or mechanical properties. When thermoplastics are heated to their melting point, they melt to a liquid. Applying high pressure to liquid thermoplastics during the moulding process creates molecular changes leading to useful finished product characteristics.
More than 20,000 installations with zero failures
SMI’s advanced engineering expertise can deliver cable amalgamation, overmoulding, splices and the addition of some advanced ‘plugs’ to cable systems that eliminate leak paths and which will not delaminate. Thermoplastic mouldings provide extended lifetimes and unparalleled reliability in submerged or dirty environments.
Mastering the art of thermoplastic moulding is widely considered too difficult. SMI is the UK’s subject matter expert and continues to develop and improve the technology through the sponsorship of PhD studies.