PolyOne Unveils Non-Halogenated, Flame-Retardant Solutions for Fiber Optics

CHICAGO – June 23, 2009 – PolyOne today announced the global launch of a portfolio of innovative wire and cable solutions for optical fibers at NPE 2009. The new product family includes several grades of ECCOH™ and ECCOH™ PF low smoke & fume, zero halogen (LSFOH) compounds as well as OnColor™ and OnCap™ colorant and additive solutions. Initial applications are on display within the PolyOne NPE exhibit located in the West Hall at McCormick Place, booth W113021.

These high-performance materials are formulated for a group of optical fiber applications known as FTTx, or Fiber To The x, denoting all optical fiber used in telecommunications. The demand for optical fiber is increasing rapidly on a global basis. According to industry sources, at the end of 2008, consumers using direct fiber optic connections included well over 30 million households worldwide.

In the past, optical fiber cables were mainly for outdoor use and, as such, did not require flame retardant sheathing materials. Increasingly, however, bandwidth providers are bringing fiber optics into buildings – known as FTTB, or Fiber
To The Building – and, at times, to individual living units – called FTTH, or Fiber To The Home. These cables must not only be flame retardant, they must also contain materials that are low-smoke, low-fume, and non-halogenated (also called LSFOH, for Low Smoke and Fume, Zero Halogen).

Responding to this trend, PolyOne has developed a range of solutions for the FTTB and FTTH markets, called ECCOH™ and ECCOH™ PF compounds. Both product families meet the requirements for LSFOH material use inside buildings, and are classified as a PolyOne Sustainable Solution.

In addition to excellent flame retardance, these solutions offer low smoke and low toxicity benefits. Specific grades include the following:

 ECCOH™ 6638 is suitable for tight buffering or loose tube cables. Meeting a variety of telecom specifications, this compound also offers low corrosion, very low shrinkage (less than 1%), good mechanical strength to prevent fiber breakage, and low memory retention to ensure good attenuation properties. This compound can also be used for sheathing applications, offering a complete LSFOH solution for FTTx wire construction.
 ECCOH™ PF 2037 and ECCOH™ PF 4142 are recommended for mini-ducts through which fiber is routed. Used mainly in multi-dwelling units, these compounds offer good flame retardance, while their inherent stiffness allows easy installation and provides bend radius control.
 ECCOH™ PF 1045 is recommended for mini-duct outer sheathing and features good flexibility, extremely high flame retardance, and ease of processing.
 Anti-static compound for use as an inner layer for mini-tubes enables optical fibers to be blown further. This compound can be coextruded as an internal layer 0.5mm thick. This mini-duct application with LSFOH as an outer layer and antistatic slip compound as the internal layer is patent pending..
 ECCOH™ PF4130 completes the FTTx compound solution package. It is a halogen-free flame retardant compound, which is easy to process by injection molding and suitable for connection boxes.

Each ECCOH LSFOH compound can also be provided with suitable OnColor™ color concentrates to match specific requirements, with masterbatches available for other materials, including HDPE, PBT and TPU. PolyOne also offers OnCap™ UV additive and slip additive masterbatches suitable for FTTx applications.

Murielle Chuzeville, LSFOH general manager said, “PolyOne is the only supplier to offer a range of rigid LSFOH compounds. Although LSFOH has been used and specified for many years in the cable market, these compounds have lacked the stiffness for pipes or mini-ducts. PolyOne customers can benefit from a complete low smoke, low toxic solution for the FTTx market."

About PolyOne
PolyOne Corporation, with 2008 annual revenues of $2.7 billion, is a premier provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions. Headquartered outside of Cleveland, Ohio USA, PolyOne has operations around the world. For additional information on PolyOne, visit our Web site at