Operational Characteristics of Trailing Cable Splices
Description:The U.S. Bureau of Mines investigated the operational characteristics of spliced portable power cables. This research had a dual purpose: (1) to determine the thermal and mechanical performance of repaired trailing cables and compare them with undamaged cables and (2) to gauge the impact of long-term, localized heating on the insulating and jacketing materials contained in cable splice kits accepted or approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration. The ranges of splice joint resistance and tensile breaking strength were determined from laboratory measurements. The choice of crimping tools affected the strength of the splice under tension. Thermal profiles of energized spliced cables were constructed, which showed that spliced conductor joints operated 5 to 20°C hotter than the intact cable at rated currents. Accelerated life tests of thermally aged samples of splice kit insulation and jacket materials confirmed a deficiency in the thermal rating of the insulating tape. The recommendations in this report may be utilized to revise splice kit design, splice kit approval criteria, and trailing cable loading guidelines. Characterizing the thermal operating limits of spliced trailing cables may help to minimize the associated risks from explosions, fires, personnel burns, and shock.
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