A Guide to understanding Additives for PVC Wires & Cables

Table of Contents:

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is an essential component in wires and cables manufacturing. The PVC coating on wires and cables provides crucial insulation, which is vital for safety and durability of wires & cables.

PVC’s inability to conduct electricity, combined with its exceptional durability, flexibility, resistance to chemicals, and moisture resistance, contribute to its ability to prevent short circuits in wires and cables. Hence, PVC-coated wires and cables are highly valued for their reliability, longevity, and adaptability to various environments. 

This article aims to provide a basic understanding of additives for PVC wires and cables and explore their importance.

This informative article is beneficial for manufacturers of PVC Wires and Cables as well as industrial chemicals manufacturers in India who are seeking to broaden their horizons in the field of PVC additives.

What are additives? (for PVC wires and cables)

Additives for PVC wires and cables refer to various chemicals incorporated into PVC formulations to modify and enhance PVC’s properties and performance. Additives play a vital role in tailoring PVC formulations to meet the specific requirements of wires and cables, ensuring optimal performance, durability, safety, and regulatory compliance in electrical applications. 

PVC wires and cables benefit from various additives that impart specific characteristics, improving their performance and functionality. For instance, heat stabilizers are used to shield PVC from degradation caused by heat, light, and chemicals. Meanwhile, plasticizers are added to enhance flexibility, which is imperative for molding into wires without becoming fragile.

The most commonly used additives in PVC wires and cables are: 

  • Stabilizers (also known as PVC Heat Stabilizers)
  • Lubricants
  • Plasticizers
  • Antioxidants
  • Fillers
  • Pigments
  • Flame Retardants

In the following sections, we will explain each PVC wire and cable additive in detail and explore their uses and benefits in greater depth. This will help you select the right product for your application.

  • Stabilizers (also known as PVC Heat Stabilizers)

PVC is susceptible to degradation when exposed to heat, light, and certain chemicals. Heat stabilizers, commonly known as Stabilizers, are added to PVC resin to prevent this degradation and maintain its properties over time. Without stabilizers, PVC wires and cables could become brittle, burnt, discolored, or lose their mechanical strength.

Read More: What are Stabilizers? Its Importance in PVC Applications

Commonly used Stabilizers in PVC Wires and Cables are:

  • Individual lead based heat stabilizers
  • Lead-free one-pack stabilizers (Ca – Zn Stabilizer) 

Read More: Calcium/Zinc Based One Pack Stabilizer | Uses & Applications

  • Lubricants 

Lubricants are added to enhance the processing characteristics of PVC during extrusion or molding processes. Lubricants play a crucial role in facilitating the flow of PVC through molds. These lubricants are further divided into two types: Internal and External Lubricants for PVC applications. 

Internal lubricants are additives that primarily reduce friction between polymer chains, facilitating better flow and fusion within the polymer matrix. They integrate into the PVC matrix and influence its internal structure.

External lubricants primarily function at the interface between the PVC melt and the processing equipment. They prevent the PVC compound from sticking to the equipment, ensuring smooth processing.

Read More: What are Internal and External Lubricants for PVC Applications?

Commonly used Lubricants in PVC Wires and Cables are:

  • Oleochemical Derivative
  • Lubricant Blend
  • Oxidized Polyethylene Wax

Additionally, Metallic stearates, specifically Calcium Stearate and Zinc Stearate, are commonly used as additives in PVC Wire and Cable compounds. These compounds serve as lubricants and co-stabilizers in PVC applications. 

  • Plasticizers

PVC is rigid and unsuitable for applications requiring flexibility, such as wires and cables. Plasticizers are added to improve the ability of PVC to bend without breaking, making it more suitable for wire and cable applications. 

Commonly used Plasticizers in PVC Applications( Wires and Cables) are:

  • Di Octyl Phthalate
  • Di Octyl Adipate
  • Chlorinated Paraffin Wax
  • Epoxidized Soyabean Oil
  • Antioxidants

PVC wires and cables are usually susceptible to oxidative degradation caused by processing conditions and environmental conditions in its service life such as oxygen exposure, heat, and light. Antioxidants for PVC application help to inhibit this process by scavenging free radicals and stabilizing the PVC material, thereby preventing discoloration, loss of mechanical properties, and a reduced lifespan of the wire or cable.

Commonly used antioxidant for PVC Wire and Cable compounds:

  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Fillers 

Fillers are usually added to enhance the rigidity, cost-effectiveness, and impact resistance of PVC wire and cable compounds. 

Some fillers can also contribute to flame retardancy, which is beneficial for wires and cables used in applications where fire safety is a concern.

Commonly used filler for PVC Wire and Cable compounds: 

  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Pigments

Pigments are added to PVC formulations to provide visual identification and aesthetic appeal. This is important for distinguishing different types of wires and cables and indicating their functions or specifications.

Commonly used Pigments for PVC Wire and Cable compounds: 

  • Titanium Dioxide(Anatase)
  • Titanium Dioxide(Rutile)
  • Re-White Pigment for lead-free applications

Read More: An Overview of Metallic Stearates for PVC Applications

  • Flame Retardants

Fire safety is critical in electrical applications like wires and cables. Flame retardant additives are incorporated into PVC formulations to improve the material’s resistance to ignition, flame spread, and heat release in the event of a fire, reducing the risk of fire-related hazards and ensuring compliance with safety standards.

Commonly used flame retardants for PVC Wire and Cable compounds: 

  • Zinc Borate
  • Aluminum Trihydrate (ATH)
  • Phosphorus-based Flame Retardants


Additives are crucial components in PVC wire and cable compounds. Without these additives, PVC wires and cables cannot be processed. Therefore, selecting the suitable PVC additive is crucial to maximizing the benefits and properties of your PVC compound.

To gain an understanding of the appropriate additives for processing PVC wire and cable, it is advisable to seek guidance from expert manufacturers of PVC additives. For detailed information and guidance on selecting the appropriate stabilizers and additives for your specific applications, you can connect with Rewa Stabilizers & Lubricants. 

As a leading manufacturer of additives for PVC Wires and Cables in Maharashtra, India, we offer high-quality additives subject to rigorous quality checks to ensure their consistency and reliability. Our technical support team takes a customer-centric approach to helping you select the right additive for your needs. 

Contact us for top-quality additives for your PVC wire and cable compounds.


What is the best stabilizer for PVC wire and cable manufacturing?

The choice of stabilizer depends on the specific requirements of the PVC cable and wire, such as thermal stability, electrical properties, and environmental safety considerations. 

How do environmental regulations impact the choice of stabilizers for PVC cables?

Environmental regulations increasingly influence the selection of stabilizers due to concerns over toxicity and disposal, pushing manufacturers towards eco-friendly alternatives like calcium-zinc and lead-free stabilizers.

What are the common challenges in PVC wire and cable manufacturing that stabilizers address?

Manufacturers often face challenges related to thermal degradation, color stability, mechanical strength, and environmental stress cracking. Stabilizers address these issues by enhancing the polymer’s resistance to heat, UV light, and chemicals, thereby improving the overall quality and lifespan of the product.

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