Wires and cables are the prerequisites for electrical installations. They form the necessary connection path for the power supply from the source to the consuming device.
Therefore, it becomes very important to have good quality wires and cables before any other electrical product.
You can easily find different types of wires and cables in the market for various applications. Each type of wire and cable is tailored to the required application.
Here are the different types of wires and cables that are readily available at any electrical shop:
Life without electricity is hard to imagine, but so is life without wires and cables. They are basic building blocks of the entire electrical system that we take for granted and hardly notice their remarkable contributions in our daily lives. We ignore them to such an extent that we blur the distinction between wires and cables and use these two words interchangeably.
However, there is a subtle difference between wires and cables that people ignore. One way to differentiate between wires and cables is to think of wires as part of cables.
1. Single-Core Building Wires
Single-Core Building Wires are simple PVC insulated single-core copper wires used for electrical wirings and installations. They are mainly categorized into two different types:
- FR Wires:
Fire retardant wires (FR) are simple insulated single-core wires with enhanced fire-retardant properties than regular PVC. In the event of a fire, these wires may burn, but they contain the spread of fire by limiting the flame within an area.
- FRLS Wires:
Fire retardant low smoke wires (FRLS) are similar to fire-retardant wires (FR) with additional low smoke properties. During a fire emergency, ordinary PVC wire emits thick black toxic gases.
These gases impair visibility and prevent possible rescue measures. However, this is not the case with FRLS, as they are endowed with fire retardant and low-smoke properties. These mere properties go a long way towards containing the spread of the fire and at the same time releasing as little as possible.
2. Flexible Wires
Flexible cables are types of electrical cables that can withstand continuous bending during use. This makes them very well suited for continuous motion applications such as electric irons, drills, or other moving machinery.
It is also widely used to make temporary power connections to various electrical devices. The required flexibility is achieved by stranding, in which the wires are twisted one on top of the other.
3. Multi-Core Industrial Cables
As the name suggests, Multi-Core Industrial Cables are simple cables consisting of multiple sheathed conductor cores that are bundled into a single sheathed cable.
The main function of these cables is to avoid messy connections and save installation time by bundling them together. They are specifically designed to withstand the harsh conditions of industrial environments.
4. Submersible Cables
Submersible cables are heavy-duty cables having several sheathed insulated wires, which are bundled together with very robust, abrasion-resistant, and extremely durable insulation compounds. They are designed for wet-locations involving underwater and humid environments.
The most common use of submersible cables is to power submersible motors and underwater pumps for agricultural, underground mining, or drilling purposes.
5. Coaxial Cables
Coaxial Cables consist of a copper conductor core that is insulated with polyethylene and further covered with metal foil and wire mesh to reduce interference. This entire structure is finally insulated to keep it intact and protect it from outside influences.
They carry high-frequency signals and are usually used for signal distribution in cable television and signal transmission between antennas, transmitters, and receivers.
Because of their widespread use in television sets, they are commonly referred to as TV cables.
6. Speaker Cables
Speaker Cables are an integral part of audiophiles’ life. They love music and strive to get the perfect speaker cables. These cables consist of a pair of two bare copper conductor cores that are insulated with special transparent insulation compounds. They are commonly used to create connections across various audio devices such as speakers, audio amplifiers, etc.
The resistance of the speaker cable governs the quality of sound you can get. Having a cable with uniform capacitance produces a more stable and accurate sound that audiophiles love to have.
7. LAN Cables
LAN cables are a type of communication cable used in Ethernet networks and telecommunications. It consists of four pairs of twisted insulated wires twisted around one another. The purpose of twisting is to reduce magnetic interference, which is responsible for data distortion.
These cables give you high data transfer speeds and can transmit high bit-rate signals over long distances. They are categorized into two types, as UTP cables (Unshielded Twisted Pair) and STP cables (Shielded Twisted Pair).
8. CCTV Cables
CCTV cables are an amalgamation of coaxial cables, audio, and power cables. They are used to transmit data and power, surveillance devices for keeping an eye on residential and commercial premises for security purposes.
The coaxial cable acts as a carrier of video signals while others carry the audio and power the CCTV. They provide high-quality data transmission with minimal distortion.