Water-blocking for Wire & Cable

Water-blocking Substrates

Zappa Stewart offers the latest technologies in superabsorbent polymers (SAP) for application to substrates commonly used in the cable industry.

SAPs allow outside cables to meet industry demands and satisfy regulatory requirements for cable water penetration length.

SAP can be applied to a wide range of water-blocking substrates, such as:

  • Tapes (woven, non-woven, fiberglass, etc.)
  • Yarns (polyester, aramid, fiberglass, etc.)
  • Strength members (fiber reinforced plastic rods, metallic elements)

SAPs can be applied via:

  • Dry powder deposition onto the inner layer of a laminated tape
  • Coatings containing superabsorbent powder
  • Inherently swellable liquid coatings
  • Hot melt adhesives containing superabsorbent powder

Features & Benefits 

Dynamic water blocking capability Fast swelling speed
Solid gel strength Thermal stability
Reduced relative humidity inside the cable (reduces instances of water treeing) Combined functionality, i.e. waterblocking with bedding, binding and other functionality in a single product

Advantages of dry core vs. gel-filled cables

  • Reduced cable weight
  • Smaller diameter
  • Faster installation and restoration time
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Superabsorbent Powders

Superabsorbent Polymers in Powder Form (SAP) have been used for decades to provide water blocking functionality required for under-ground and under-water cable application.  Some characteristics include:

  • Variety of particle size distribution available
  • Applied using dusting electro-static deposition and other methods
  • Custom blends with other components available

Learn more.

Superabsorbent Liquids

They are used to applying to other cable components such as water-blocking yarns, tapes, and strings members. Some characteristics include:

  • Ease of application
  • Improves housekeeping (reduces dusting)

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Superabsorbent Hot-Melt

Water-soluble hot melt adhesives containing superabsorbent powders for applications directly on to various cable components.  Some characteristics include:

  • Adhesion functionality
  • Improves housekeeping (reduces dusting)
  • Very clean and controlled deposition
  • Available in tacky and non-tacky finish

Learn more.

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