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Hacker, Robert W. (ed.) / The Wisconsin engineer
Volume 53, Number 4 (January 1949)

W. M. H.; R. R. J.
The way we see it,   pp. 17-32 ff.


Page 19


N e w s w o r t h y
N o t e s
for Engineers
APER COVERED CORE
AINUM SHEATH
ET
PROBLEM:
  How to put a new type of
  covering on telephone cable
  Make a new type of cable sheath no one has
  ever made before-make it to rigid specifica-
  tions-make it fast! That was the challenge
  put up to Western Electric's manufacturing
  engineers.
    The new type of cable sheath -developed
  through cooperative research at Bell Tele-
  phone Laboratories and Western Electric
  Company-is a valuable alternative to the tradi-
  tional lead covering for telephone cable. It is
  called Alpeth. "Al" stands for an inner shield
  of aluminum; "peth" for the outer coating of
  the plastic, polyethlene.
    To produce this new cable sheath, Western
  Electric engineers developed the Alpeth pro-
  duction line-a combination of new machines
  and new manufacturing techniques-which
  turns out finished cable in a fast-moving,
  straight-line operation.
From the desert-dry 1250 F 'hot room" where thoroughly dried cable
cores are stored, the core moves into this machine. An aluminum strip
is fed from a supply reel underneath. After being corrugated to pro-
vide flexibility and strength, the aluminum strip is wrapped around
the core and flooded with a sticky protective compound.
The aluminum-clad cable then posses into this machine and comes
out seconds later with an extruded coating of flexible, impervious,
gleaming black polyethylene. Finally, after a 100-foot bath in a
cooling trough, the finished cable is wound on reels and readied for
shipment to Bell Telephone companies.
Engineering problems are many and varied at Western Electric, where manufacturing
tele-
phone and radio apparatus for the Bell System is the primary job. Engineers
of many kinds-
electrical, mechanical, industrial, chemical, metallurgical-are constantly
working to devise and
improve machines and processes for production of highest quality communications
equipment.
          Westerni Electric
A UNIT OF THE BELL SYSTEM SINCE 1882
JANUARY, 1949
19


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