According to our customer, Shell DEP says that "to prevent cable damage, cables shall not be pulled at ambient temperatures below 5 deg.c" and the regulation is very popular in europe. If it is mandatory and common sence, it is impossible to do cable laying during winter season (November - March/April) in Europe area. Europe contractor is always providing cable heating facilities for cable laying?? Someone, please advise.
Hi there Itoh, I do know that some types of PVC cables don't like low temperatures. A mate of mine that did 6 months down at Scott Base in Antarctica said that moving cables even slightly when it gets cold there, will cause the insulation to snap "like a crisp carrot". I'm told that it's the petroleum content of the PVC that causes this at low temperatures.
Itoh joined us in April; but you have to do several posts to lose the 'new member' bar, but welcome anyway!
PVC for cables is made more flexible by polymer additives, so I guess these become more rigid as the cable gets cold. ( In another thread we also discussed these additives being affected by contact with styrene, just in case the idea of insulating the cable occured to anyone as a solution.)
I know of a great way to heat up the cable. Just short the end farthest from the incoming power, and when connected, voila! Instant heat. Of course, this method usually has sme drawbacks, such as arc blasts, explosions, melting the insulation off, and even death!
In relation to this post, I have seen PVC pipe become very brittle, like when it is 5 degrees outside, and I was taking it from the truck to the house. It was out overnight, and when I took it from the truck, I had inadvertedly bent a few slightly that just split or completely broke apart at the bend.
I remember when I used to live in a freezing climate (before I wised up and moved to Texas!), and I was doing a lot of new residential work. Installing phone cables was the worst, they would shatter into a million pieces if your hammer missed the staple (which it did frequently, since cold also affects dexterity). As long as I couldn't see bare copper, I'd leave it alone, since it was only phone wire.
One of the worst things was trying to strip NM cable where tying in homeruns. You need about 80cm of normally-soft PVC cable sheath removed, and instead of splitting right along the mark you've scored with a knife (as it does in Texas heat), it comes off with great effort (from cold-weakened fingers) in fingernail-sized chips. It would take about five minutes just to strip one cable, and then you had about 25 more to go!
Of course, it doesn't help that you have to stand in one spot while doing all this. The drywall is not up yet, and if the doors and windows have all been installed, it's not too bad. I remember one condo job where I had to terminate several panels in one freezing week, all of them were in as-yet doorless garages, and the foreman kept complaining I was taking too &*#$&%$% long!
When I open up my toolbox on Monday and my tools are rusty from Friday's sweat, because it's August and we've had 8 consecutive days over 100(F), I still think of how much better I have it now!