Insulated Conductors Committee

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Joseph H. (Joe) SnowJoe Snow,

September 10, 1920- April 19, 2014

2011 Dr. George H. Bahder Memorial Award

1991 ICC Distinguished Service Award

Obituary, published in "The Facts", April 22, 2014

The son of the late Joseph H. Snow, Sr. and Ada C. Snow was 93 years young, having been born on September 10, 1920, and departing from this life on April 19, 2014. A fourth generation Texan, he was living in Angleton, Texas at the time of his departure, his residence being only a few blocks from the place he was born. Except for his tour of duty in WWII and a 10 year assignment with Dow Chemical at its headquarters in Midland MI, he lived in Texas all of his life. He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Ellen “Pinky” Snow, his three children, Joellen Snow (and husband Stan O’Neal), Joseph H. Snow III (and wife Jamie), and Edie Snow Myer (and husband Austin), 12 grandchildren (his granddaughter, Ellen Ada Snow predeceased him in 2001), and 5 great grandchildren

Career Highlights

Joe began his career in the Texas Operations where he was involved in the engineering and design of the power system for the Texas chemical production location. Under his leadership, the Freeport plant location was one of the first in the world to convert its medium-voltage cables from varnished cambric insulation to polyethylene insulation. The first use of polyethylene was not without its problems. The cables began to fail by treeing from water that had been trapped inside the conductor during cable production. He played a significant role in defining the problem and working with cable manufacturers to correct the problem. It was this work that led him to become an expert in cable design and materials.

 Joe was involved in the development of many materials for wire and cable applications as the first market and business manager for their wire and cable business. The paper “The Evolution of Sheath Constructions for Communications Cable” is significant, because it showed for the first time the extent to which plastic coated metals enabled the development of the bonded sheath for providing moisture protection to cable. A revolution was taking place in the cable industry at the time because of the invention of functional plastic coated shielding materials and their initial use in bonded sheaths for cable. Joe was heavily involved as a driver to build a plant to manufacture these materials and with the cable makers by providing the assurance needed to commercialize innovative cable designs based on the new material technology. An addendum to the above paper, “A Note on the Sensitivity of Bonded Jackets to Flaws in Construction,” was especially significant to the further development of bonded sheath cable, because it quantitatively defined the role of the bonded jacket and sealed overlap in providing moisture protection to the core of the cable.

 Joe led the customer activities required to manufacture the first medium-voltage power cable prototype having a bonded sheath with coated copper. The design led to the development of a better understanding of the behavior of the bonded sheath under thermal loading, and the role of thin tapes for short circuit protection.

 Joe provided leadership to the engineering function on the use of chemical-moisture barrier cables in underground cable systems as described in the paper “Chemical Moisture Barrier Cable for Underground Systems”. This paper is significant because it documents the first use of low and medium-voltage cables with a bonded sheath of coated aluminum in an underground system of an industrial plant. The entire electrical system was placed underground for safety reasons, and all low voltage instrument, control and medium voltage cables were protected with bonded sheaths to prevent chemical and moisture attack. The cable system engineering was also his responsibility, and he worked with their research and development groups and several cable manufacturers to design and manufacture the cables. He provided the engineering practices to bury the cable in trenches filled with cement stabilized sand. This plant design was then implemented in several other petrochemical plants along the Gulf coast.

After lightning strikes became a major problem at chemical plants along the Gulf coast by causing the destruction of electronic instruments and controls, Joe led the commercialization activities to provide low voltage instrument and power cables with a heavier gauge (8 mils) coated aluminum shield grounded at both ends. The combination of heavier shield and ground configuration acted to cancel out the interference currents generated by the lightning.

As a Senior Engineering Associate with Anixter, Joe played a leadership role in developing supplier partnerships between Anixter and their clients. He represented Anixter at the ICC where he continued to make significant contributions to the development of chemical-moisture barrier cable.

Joe was responsible for the commercialization of chemical-moisture barrier cables for petrochemical plant applications. The cables and their development are described in the paper “Chemical-Barrier Cable – Concept and Practice”. This paper is significant because it documents the first industrial use of 5 kV and 15 kV cables with a bonded sheath with coated copper where the copper acted as both a moisture barrier and electrical shield to the cables. He provided the leadership with the cable manufacturers on the cable designs, manufacture and commercialization of the MV cables. He worked with an accessory equipment manufacturer on the termination devices for the shield and training of the personnel involved with installation of these devices. He led the effort on developing the specifications for the cables, manufacturing and testing of the cables and cable management during the installation of the cables.


Professional Activities


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