5 Types of Wire and Cable Assemblies

When manufacturing products with any type of electronic component or need for electric power, it is critical that you have the best materials for the job. This means making sure you have the right custom cable assemblies to transmit power, electronic signals, or information to the right components. Whether you are still in the design phase, or are looking to make improvements on an existing product, carefully analyzing how power and signals are transmitted will help ensure the proper functioning of the end product. Here are the five most common types of wire and cable assemblies for manufacturing your next product, or just for projects around the house.

Electrical Wire

Electrical wire, or building wire, as it is commonly called is the wire you find in the walls of your home. Typically, these cables are made from THHN wire that is insulated for indoor and outdoor use, and is also used in the wiring of machines, power tools, appliances and control circuits with power not exceeding 600 volts. These wires use a conductor of soft copper with a PVC insulator and nylon outer coating. Depending on its insulation and coating, this type of wire can be used in both indoor and outdoor applications.

Hook Up Wire

This type of wire is used almost exclusively in the internal wiring of consumer electronics, appliances, and computers or business machines not subject to environmental damage. The most common form of hook up wire comes in either 300 or 600 volts of stranded copper with a PVC insulator. These wires are the standard choice for transmitting data and electronic information between electronic components. Typically these wires are easily damaged by exposure to water, oil, gas, and other solvents, which is why they are the preferred choice for consumer goods that will not be used outdoors.

Single Conductor Cord

Single conductor cord is another name for power cables typically used in industrial applications such as welding, and is so named because it supplies electrical power through only one conductor, in one direction. In other words, it transmits electrical energy through one wire without energy returning through the wire in the other direction.

Power and Industrial Cable

For certain industrial applications, such as mining, construction, or applications involving the use of heavy machinery, a power or industrial cable is required. These cables are meant to withstand even the most severe of environmental conditions, and are resistant to breakdown due to exposure to oil, acids, gas, and industrial chemicals. Typically it is constructed from stranded copper with a neoprene rubber jacket to protect it from the elements.

Multiconductor Cable

Unlike single conductor wire, multiconductor cable transmits an electrical signal through two or more conductors. Consider, for instance, speaker wire. Speaker wire typically consists of two strands, one for each left and right feed. These can be shielded or unshielded and have a variety of uses, from burglar alarms to cash registers, to intercoms. On the high end of multiconductor cables, mil spec (short for military specification) cables are much like speaker wire, except they are built to withstand harsh environmental conditions, and typically have a much longer service life than standard copper speaker wire.

With your newfound knowledge of the five primary types of custom cable assemblies, you are certain to find the best method for transmitting electrical power, signals, and data in any application.

For more information, contact the wire and cable assemblies experts at LoDan Electronics today.