Insulation compound chemistry has come a long way in todays market. The chemistry for cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) and ethylene propylene rubber (EPR) changed in the 1960s so modern XLPE and EPR insulations use catalysts that chemically cross-link the molecular chains yet do not corrode the conductor. Similarly, advances in semi-conducting shield compounds deliver far better stripability with bare copper conductors. Corrosion is another reason tinning is considered. Today, there are special electrical contact lubricants such as NO-OX that prevents the formations of oxide films at termination points making tinning less desirable. In conclusion, unless the power cable installation is in an environment that is continuously exposed to corrosive elements (as is the case in certain wastewater treatment facilities), copper conductor tinning is a practice that is no longer required with today’s cable compounds, corrosion lubricants and manufacturing technology. It’s an added cost that also requires longer lead times and minimum run quantities. And since it is an environmentally unfriendly process, any reduction in conductor tinning helps to make our environment better.
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