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Splice shield connection study: examining the impact of field conditions.

preparing a splice

Cable connections can deteriorate over time.

Existing field conditions such as water, heavy salt, de-icing substances, and more can wear them down – leading to premature shield assembly failure.

To avoid shutdowns and power outages, you need cable reliability for connections that last. This means giving due consideration to your field conditions when specifying cold shrink technology – an alternative to traditional heat shrink and pre-moulded cable joints.

But, if a splice’s long-term cable performance is tested in a controlled lab setting, how do you get a real picture of the environmental implications?

To help give you a realistic sense of cable reliability in the elements, my lab team put 3M™ Cold Shrink Technology to the test against real conditions you might face in the field.

Here are our results.

Study overview: non-integrated connections fare better for cable reliability.

Our splice shield connection study tested two splicing methods: crimped connection of non-integrated splices vs. constant force spring/shielding sleeve connection of integrated splices on concentric neutral (CN) wire cable shields.

Our goal was to determine which method is most effective when the splice is exposed to “non-standard conditions” – water, heavy salt, and de-icing substances – that may occur in a range of environments, from utility underground cable chambers to windfarms.

To assess performance, we developed a laboratory aging test and put each splicing method through its paces.

After reviewing for the speed of degradation and temperature increase, results demonstrated that crimped CN connections typically used with non-integrated splices, like the 3M™ Cold Shrink QS-III Cable Splice Series, were more stable than the constant force spring/shielding sleeve connection used with integrated splices.*

Read the full study: Aging tests: integrated vs. non-integrated splices shield continuity systems.

installing a splice

Technology spotlight: 3M™ Cold Shrink QS-III Cable Splice Series

3M™ Cold Shrink QS-III Cable Splice Series is designed to help increase the safety and reliability of the cable distribution network. It does this by replacing the cable layers with one moulded splice body, allowing for ease of installation and repeatable consistency.

Five key benefits of 3M™ Cold Shrink QS-III Cable Splice Series:

  1. Stability: more stable in non-standard field conditions*
  2. Design: optimized electrical stress management and thermal heat dissipation
  3. Strength: no loss of radial splice pressure over the life of the cable
  4. Safety: helps enhance utility safety by complying to non-mandatory standards, such as the IEEE 592
  5. Customization: kits can be customized to accommodate and address your specific needs 

Study implications: more reliable assessments of long-term cable performance.

You need to know how cold shrink products will perform in the types of field conditions they will encounter after being installed.

By having more accurate information about how your cable will perform in real considerations, you can have more confidence in your long-term cable performance, with less shutdowns and outages.

Learn more: cold shrink technology for cable reliability.

To learn more about the technologies best suited for your projects’ field conditions, contact a specialist.


* 3M Canada. Aging tests: integrated vs. non-integrated splices shield continuity systems. Study. London, 2018. White paper.

About the Author

[enBio=George Fofeldea works directly with 3M utility customers across Canada helping to solve project problems and concerns. This gives George unique intel to understanding trends, pain points, and industry needs. George has been a power engineer for over 27 years and in his career, he has watched the industry evolve. What he’s most excited about is seeing how new technologies such as renewable energy, vehicle electrification, grid automation, and modernization will continue to shape and transform the electrical and energy industry towards a bright-er and more exciting future by helping improve safety and reliability.],[enJob=Power Engineer, 3M Canada],[frBio=George Fofeldea travaille directement avec les clients des services publics de 3M partout au Canada pour les aider à résoudre les problèmes et à aborder les préoccupations qui surviennent dans le cadre de leurs projets. Cela permet à George de comprendre les tendances, les problèmes et les besoins de l’industrie. George est ingénieur électricien depuis plus de 27 ans et a assisté à l’évolution de l’industrie tout au long de sa carrière. Ce qui le passionne le plus, c’est la façon dont les nouvelles technologies, comme l’énergie renouvelable, l’électrification des véhicules, l’automatisation des réseaux et la modernisation continueront de façonner et de transformer le secteur de l’électricité et de l’énergie vers un avenir plus prometteur en améliorant la sécurité et la fiabilité.],[frJob=Ingénieur électricien, 3M Canada]

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3M splice shield connection study.