Kerite Company was founded in 1854 by Austin Goodyear Day, nephew of Charles Goodyear, to build insulated telegraph cable. Kerite went on to introduce railroad signal cable and power cable, winning 3 top awards at the Chicago World´s Fair in 1893, installed the world´s first submarine cable under the Hudson River in the 1880s, and supplied power and signal cable for the Panama Canal in the early 1900s. Kerite continued to innovate for the next 60 years.
Further cable technology breakthroughs came with the invention of the Permashield non-conducting stress control layer in 1958, the first cables with specially formulated discharge-resistant ethylene propylene rubber (DR-EPRTM) insulation in the 1960s, and the introduction of cable for the nuclear power industry in 1965. Kerite cable was installed in over 65 nuclear plants, more than half the country´s total.
In 1969, Kerite was purchased by the Hubbell Company, an electrical equipment manufacturer, known for patenting the ubiquitous duplex receptacle and the electric light pull socket. For the next 30 years, Kerite prospered as part of Hubbell, which invested heavily in new manufacturing facilities.
In 1999, Kerite was purchased by the Marmon Group, an international association of more than 130 business units that operate independently within diverse business sectors. From 2000-2007, Marmon made continuous investments in equipment and plant layout to improve service levels and manufacturing flow. Today Marmon is 100 percent owned by Berkshire Hathaway.
Kerite´s history of investment in equipment, facilities, research and development and testing are the main contributors to Kerite´s superior field performance, demonstrated by more than a century of empirical evidence and a proven track record. Several factors contribute to this record of reliability and long life, including:
Discharge resistant insulation — the Company´s proprietary ethylene propylene/ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPM/EPDM)-based compounds are formulated, mixed, and extruded in house with the express goal of resistance to degradation caused by partial discharge (PD). This focus on building PD immunity is one of the reasons DR-EPR-based cables show no signs of partial discharge over extended periods of time, effectively providing a lifetime guarantee that there will not be electrical failure caused by insulation deterioration.
Permashield non conducting stress control layer — The high specific inductive capacity (SIC) material with insulating properties delivers superior stress relief between the conductor and the insulation layer. During extrusion Kerite performs a continuous 2kV DC production test, resulting in long term AC cable strength and impulse breakdown levels.
Transient attenuation — Kerite cables provide a superior level of high frequency attenuation; transient voltage spikes can cause transformer windings to short and Kerite cable is four times more effective in attenuating transients than EPR cable from other manufacturers and an order of magnitude better than TR-XLPE.
Long service life —There have been no known field-related insulation failures for Kerite´s EPR cables and no time limit is placed on its cable warranty.
Kerite has the shortest lead times in the industry for its submarine, high voltage and medium voltage cable. This is primarily due to the fact that the plant has always focused on being flexible, and can change operations, and reschedule production to meet demand.
Kerite is the only U.S manufacturer of armored submarine cable. Kerite´s DR-EPR insulation means that submarine cables can operate in direct contact with water without the need for an impervious lead sheath or asphalt coating.
Kerite is responding to increased industry demands for high voltage underground cable. The move towards underground cable is in response to demands for system hardening and improved aesthetics. In congested areas it is sometimes impossible to place additional overhead wires, so utilities that need to build or expand substations due to population growth and greater overall power usage often must use the underground cable option.
Twenty-five years ago, utilities were not convinced high voltage underground cable was reliable or affordable. As both a manufacturer and installer for high voltage cable, Kerite has proven that it can be done easily and very affordably. Even short lengths can be installed at a reasonable cost.
History shows Kerite power cables can withstand the toughest test of all — the test of time through actual field experience.