Nexans and Trimet target recycled content in power cables

European companies say they have developed recycled-content aluminum rod that can be used in electrical cables.

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Image courtesy of Nexans

Germany-based aluminum producer Trimet and cable systems designer and manufacturer Nexans, Paris, have developed a new product containing recycled aluminum they say is able to meet the mechanical properties and conductivity of the aluminum used in electrical cables while reducing the product’s carbon footprint. They claim that power cables exclusively have been manufactured using primary aluminum.

The companies say melting and recycling aluminum scrap requires only a fraction of the energy needed to produce primary aluminum, though recycled aluminum can contain impurities that adversely affect the material’s specific properties. The collaboration between Nexans and Trimet aimed to coordinate optimized raw material supply and innovative material development.

For example, Nexans says it has refined the sorting of aluminum scrap at its production sites in Europe through RecyCables, a Nexans joint venture with Paris-based Suez, while gearing up its collection to recycling for electrical cables. Trimet says it has closed the material cycle with its recycling concept and used the scrap obtained to develop a high-quality alloy that meets the full range of quality requirements for mechanical and electrical performance.

“Our project shows that recycling offers enormous potential to reduce CO2 emissions,” Nexans CEO Vincent Dessale says. “I am proud that Nexans can now offer its customers a product that combines superior quality while ensuring a higher level of circular economy. Nexans thus pursues its strategy to constantly look for new sources of value for its customers.”

Nexans says it plans to maximize the use of aluminum rod with recycled aluminum content in 2023, enabling it to meet its customers’ growing demand for products with a favorable eco-balance. Trimet says it will expand its range of recycled products in the aluminum wire sector.

“Recycling is an important component of sustainable aluminum production for us,” says Philipp Schluter, CEO of Trimet Aluminum SE and president of Trimet France SAS. “The development of high-quality alloys with the smallest possible carbon footprint makes a significant contribution to this.”

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