What Does It Mean to Be Resistant to Petroleum?

It is not uncommon for wiring to come in contact with oil-based substances such as petroleum. In these scenarios, the wiring will need specially designed coating to protect it against the oil’s corrosive properties. What does it mean to be resistant to petroleum? Gateway Cable Company has you covered with the information you need, as well as a full range of corrosion-resistant cables and components. 

What Substance is Petroleum? 

Petroleum is an oily substance found below the Earth’s surface. This fuel source has been utilized for centuries; the Latin translation for petroleum is “rock oil.” Petroleum is also synonymous with the gas we use in our cars, but it’s actually a mixture of liquid, gaseous, and solid hydrocarbons. 

What substance is petroleum? In its molecular structure are a variety of hydrocarbons, including:

  • Alkanes (paraffins)
  • Cycloalkanes (naphthenes)
  • Aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Asphaltenes

Depending on the exact makeup, the color and viscosity of petroleum will vary slightly, but in its most crude state, it’s a yellowish-black, thick oil. 

Can Wiring Be Resistant to Petroleum? 

There are many kinds of wiring coatings that protect against temperature, environmental elements, fluids, and other non-compatible components. In the case of oil and petroleum resistance, wires must be coated with a rubberized substance that can resist the oil while still allowing the wire to perform as intended. 

So can wiring be resistant to petroleum? Most find that oil-resistant elastomers are the best bet against deterioration. Elastomer allows for a reasonable amount of swelling without becoming significantly weakened over time. 

Without petroleum-resistant coating, there is always a risk of igniting a flame. While petroleum is not an electrical conduit, the substance is volatile and its evaporating fumes could be ignited by live electrical wires. 

How to Avoid Oil Damage

Why does oil cause damage to wires? It’s all a matter of the chemical makeup of wires vs. petroleum. So, if you require information on how to avoid oil damage to wires so you can run your machinery or equipment safely, we can help.

 As mentioned above, oil-resistant elastomers can be a great safeguard against the high degree of flammability that’s associated with mixing petroleum and electricity. The main thing to keep in mind is the wire coating’s oil resistance, or oil res, for short. If you’re looking for oil res steps and guides, read on! Here’s what to do when considering how to avoid oil damage:

  1. Know the polymer compounds in the wires you’re considering using.
  2. Ensure that the proper UL tests (Oil Res I and II tests) have been performed on the cable(s) in which you’re interested, or have an engineer do the proper testing to see how the cable(s) will react in the industrial oil environment.
  3. Make sure the oil has passed the proper oil res tests (Passing results are determined by the evaluation of mechanical properties and observations of any damage caused to the cable(s)/wire(s) by the oil exposure).

Figuring out the oil resistance of cables is the single most important step when you need to avoid oil damage to cables. We hope the above general oil res testing guide includes steps that will be helpful to you. For more information, refer to this oil whitepaper, or call us at (630) 766-7969. Because avoiding oil damage to cables has become a standard (and extremely important) performance parameter when electrical contractors, engineers,

and installers specify cables, you should ensure you understand this part of cable selection before making a bulk purchase.

Find Petroleum Resistant Wires and Cables Through Gateway 

If your project is likely to come in contact with petroleum, it’s important to use oil-resistant cables and components to minimize fire risk and corrosion. At Gateway Cable Company, we have you covered with a superior selection of military-grade wires, cables, and components that have the capability you need to stand up to potentially dangerous elements. Request a quote today!