History of Gexol®

Gexol®(pronounced Jex-all) is a cable insulating material created in the 1950's by General Electric (GE) Wire & Cable for use on its new generation of diesel-electric locomotives. Because of the unique operating environment within these high-powered locomotives, an equally high-performing cable insulating material was needed to withstand the vibration, wide temperature ranges and exposure to oil and other chemicals present in the traction motor compartment. Gexol was formulated by GE specifically to:

  • Withstand high (+125°F) and low (-40°C) temperatures
  • Resist various oils and chemicals within the locomotive generator compartment
  • Maintain flexibility when traction motors are removed for servicing

In the mid-1970s, the land and offshore drilling industry began utilizing SCR drives for power generation with the same type traction motors used in locomotives —spawning a new market for this type of cable.

Gexol-XR Drilling Rig Cable was created to meet this growing requirement. In the early 1980s GE Wire and Cable closed their manufacturing facilities and sold their proprietary cable compound formulas. Gexol was acquired by Union Carbide Corporation and marketed to the rail, aircraft and oil industries. In 1987, Union Carbide entered into a licensing agreement with Nexans AmerCable for production of Gexol to insulate drilling and transit industry cable products. Nexans AmerCable then obtained multi-national listings and certifications for the Gexol marine product line.

Recognizing the unlimited potential of this insulating compound for use in harsh operating conditions, Nexans AmerCable purchased all rights, patents and formulas for Gexol from Union Carbide in the early 1990s. Since then, Nexans AmerCable's chemists and engineers have expanded the original formula into new Gexol cable product lines for oil and gas upstream and downstream facilities, as well as general industrial and rail transportation applications.

Current Gexol cable formulations include:

  • Fire resistant
  • Low smoke halogen-free
  • Drilling mud resistant
  • Crush and Impact Resistant (CIR) without external armoring
  • Extreme cold resistant
  • Withstand high (+125°F) and low (-40°C) temperatures
  • Resist various oils and chemicals within the locomotive generator compartment
  • Maintain flexibility when traction motors are removed for servicing

Today, Gexol-insulated power, control and instrumentation cables are the industry's standard for flexible, reliable performance in the harshest, most isolated operating environments. With Gexol's superior flexibility, dielectric properties, oil and chemical resistance, and wide temperature operating range, Nexans AmerCable will continue to utilize this amazing insulating material in the development of innovative cable products that keep pace with tomorrow's technological advancements.


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