The most virulent criticism that abounds about braided cables is that they often come at a higher expense than traditional cables. For some, they are nothing more than a marketing gimmick with the sole purpose of charging more for what amounts to snake oil. However, not only have braided cables proven their worth in a number of industries, they’ve done so with documented empirical data.
But when compared to other materials like plastic, are braided cables better? The durability that comes with braided cables certainly bears consideration. Depending on the stresses that cabling will experience during use, a hardier cable type might be a better option. That said, there are other cable options other than braided with varying levels of durability that may be better solutions.
Braided cables can provide incredible protection against a number of environmental issues such as extreme temperatures, as well as excess dirt, dust, and grime. Of course, braided cable are very good at helping ward off particularly disruptive disturbances like electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI).
Other advantages that braided cable bring to the table include but are not limited to:
Tensile Strength — The braided design allows it to stand up to the inherent stresses found in certain industrial/mechanical situations.
Less Fraying — The braided design/orientation allows for more pull forces to be spread across a wider surface area, thereby making fraying at critical ends less likely.
Less Tangling — Since braiding provides an already set ‘twist’ in the build, the likelihood of cables/wires to be physically out of place is much lower.
Lower Cost — High on critics’ lists of braided cables is the cost. Yes, in most cases, the upfront cost of braided cables is higher than a traditional option. However, because repairs/replacements over time are less, the initial investment will have paid for itself.
Aesthetics — While not a performance issue, braided cables are aesthetically pleasing & offer an amazing organization solution. They look good and can be customized to fit a certain visual criteria.
Protect Against Moisture — The wicking ability of braided cables makes them an ideal choice for environments dealing with high humidity or other high moisture sources.
General Flexibility in Tight Spaces — Some industries use machinery that is fairly compact or devoid of extra space. Braided cables allow for tight fits around components that are irregular in shape or large & cumbersome given the limit of space.
Heat Resistance — The construction of traditional cables is such that their jacketing & insulation, while effective in terms of protection, can sometimes have a hard time with excess heat. Dissipation of heat is critical to avoid failure during operation, which is why braided cables are often chosen for environments in which excess heat is generated or present.
As noted before, braided cables do present a higher cost than other cable options. Based on the application, there may be another solution that provides a more budget-friendly option but equal functionality to that of braided cables. It then begs the questions — are braided cables the right call for your application? It depends. Could braided cables still be an option even with budget constraints? Possibly.
The best way to find out answers to questions like these is to work with a trusted cable manufacturer/supplier like LoDan Electronics, Inc..
Our experience will help guide you in the best direction for your needs. In the end, whether it’s braided cables or another material for a project, the most important thing to consider is what is best for the job. Moreover, here at LoDan Electronics, Inc. of Illinois, we make it a point emphasize how important it is to remember to plan for optimal functionality today AND for the future. Industries need to constantly be ready to adapt to change at a moment’s notice. With the right team at your side, your operation will be ready for anything.
Call us today & learn more about how we can help you with your cable needs.