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19 November 2007, UK – Diversified technology company 3M has launched its range of 52kV Cold Shrink splices and terminations for electrical power cables. In addition, the company has announced that it is the first supplier in the UK to be listed on Network Rail’s PADS system as an approved supplier of terminations and splices for 52kV, a voltage class that is increasingly is being used by rail networks, particularly to support the new generation of ‘high speed’ trains.

The 52kV range from 3M uses established Cold Shrink technology, which is designed to minimise the time associated with jointing and terminating cables, as well as ensuring a consistently high quality of installation. The new range is already being used within rail systems including West Coast Mainline (WCML) and High Speed 1. 3M is also the only supplier to have PADS approval for its joints and terminations across 11, 22, 33 and 52kV voltage classes.

Cold Shrink is ideal for handling cumbersome cables in cramped or difficult conditions. A pre-formed body is placed over the cable joint or termination and when a cord is unwound, the body shrinks to form a watertight fit. Fewer critical stages are involved than other technologies and less equipment – such as gas bottles or specialist tools - is needed on site. Furthermore, by removing room for installation error, more consistent and reliable results can be achieved.

3M Cold Shrink 52kV joints and terminations are already being installed by rail networks in the UK, within dual-25kV auto-transformer rail systems, such as WCML and HS1. Dual-25kV auto-transformer systems are increasingly prevalent across Europe, particularly within high speed rail networks that require a greater power supply than existing rail infrastructure. Adopting the same voltage system as Europe will help the UK to take part in the vision of ‘end to end’ rail travel where, for example, a customer might be able to remain on the same train between London and Berlin.

For further information, readers should contact the 3M Customer Service Centre on 01234 229462.

About 3M in the electrical market

The electrical markets division of 3M, the diversified technology company, provides electrical solutions not only to many of the UK’s power utilities, but to numerous industrial markets also. These include oil and gas, mines and quarries, large private construction projects and rail markets. Covering a wide range of low and medium voltage applications, 3M works closely with contractors and distributors to provide both standard products and bespoke solutions. All 3M electrical products are supported by the company’s extensive R&D, technical and training teams.

About 3M

3M is a $22.9 billion diversified technology company, creating innovative products that help make the world smarter, faster, healthier and safer. Well known 3M brands include Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate and Scotch-brite.

3M has pioneered innovation since 1902 and today, invests more than $1.5 billion a year in R&D. It has applied its expertise in RFID technology to deliver biometric passports; it is using its understanding of the healthcare industry to provide hospitals with infection prevention and detection solutions; and its digital signage offerings are revolutionising the way businesses communicate with their customers, their employees and the general public.

3M employs 75,000 people worldwide to deliver more than 55,000 products to customers in some 200 countries. Its diverse technologies touch nearly every aspect of modern life, serving markets such as consumer and office, display and graphics, electronics and communications, healthcare, industrial and transportation, safety and protection services, and security systems.

The UK and Ireland is home to one of the largest 3M subsidiaries outside the USA, employing 3850 people across 17 locations, including 11 manufacturing sites. Products manufactured in the UK include coated abrasives, respirators, adhesive tapes, industrial microbiology products, drug delivery systems, high-performance coatings, secure documents and passport scanners.

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