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SureSeal® from Southwire promises easier control of the cost of failures in direct-buried 600V UD service cables. Some utilities see thousands of 600V UD failures in a year, and the expense mounts up in a hurry. Besides the dollar-value of repairs, a backhoe in your customer's yard generates significant costs in good will.

Protecting Direct Buried Services

"SureSeal® self-healing 600V UD cables have already gained a reputation for protecting direct-buried services from the main source of penetration problems: minor damage from shovels or debris, and lightning surges," says Stephen Spruell, Southwire senior product engineer. "But anything that's good can be improved. So we've made SureSeal® easier to install and to handle - while keeping the same penetration protection."

SureSeal® stops the failure mechanism The corrosion that destroys buried aluminum conductors begins when a small insulation break lets water seep into in the cable. The moisture starts an electrolytic process that can eventually turn the entire aluminum conductor into fluffy, white, aluminum oxide powder. Depending on soil and moisture conditions, failures can occur over a long period of time, or in a matter of weeks.

To prevent this destructive cycle, SureSeal® UD cables contain channels filled with a sealant material that flows into insulation breaks. The sealant blocks the moisture that drives the corrosion process and also provides excellent insulation properties.

SureSeal® delivers the preferred direct-burial solution Utilities have been using SureSeal® successfully since its introduction in 2001, especially in harsh applications, such as coastal areas with abundant ground-water, and areas where the soil is particularly rocky. Other application hotspots include recent subdivisions where home owners are likely to be digging to plant shrubs and trees. One major utility uses SureSeal® in all their street light installations.

In reducing the cost of buried service failures, SureSeal® offers a more cost-effective alternative to deeper burial, copper service cables, and cable-in-conduit installations. The SureSeal® sealant-channel design also continues to provide better insulation bonding and cleaner stripping than self-healing designs that use a longitudinal tape to contain the sealant.

"An ounce of prevention - the sealant in a SureSeal® cable - is worth a pound of cure when you dig up a customer's yard," says Spruell. "This is yet another example of Southwire improving an existing product to deliver better performance to our customers."