res and cables are big business. Part of our everyday existence, they have transformed and revolutionised the way that we live. Without them, there would be no mobile phones, computers, televisions, microwaves or kettles [to name a few], the importance of them often goes overlooked, but simply put how would society function in a world without wires or cables?

With the wire and cable manufacturing market estimated to grow to $200 billion by 2015, it is not only an exciting market but an extremely lucrative industry to be involved in.

  • FACT: Did you know that there are over 5000 types of wire or cable available to consumers. But with so many different ones to choose from, how do you decide which is the one for you


This post aims to simplify that process and identify a few common wire and cable types and their everyday uses

  • EQUIPMENT/HOOK-UP WIRE: Hook-up wire is small-to-medium gauge, solid or stranded, insulated wire, used for making internal connections inside electrical or electronic devices
  • TRI-RATED WIRE:  Its a high temperature, flame-retardant electrical cable designed for use in panel building
  • MAINS CABLE: A power cord, line cord, or mains cable is a cable that temporarily connects an appliance to the mains electricity supply via a wall socket or extension cord
  • SPEAKER CABLE: Speaker wire is used to make the electrical connection between loudspeakers and audio amplifiers. Modern speaker wire consists of two or more electrical conductors individually insulated by plastic or, less commonly, rubber.
  • SWITCHGEAR WIRE: A switchgear cable is a flexible electrical cable,  designed to isolate electrical equipment.
  • AUTOMOTIVE WIRE: Wire used in general automotive projects, ranging from cars to trucks, tractors etc
  • WELDING WIRE AND CABLE: A welding electrode fed into the handset from a reel
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS CABLE: Telecommunication cables are a type of guided transmission mediums. Cables are usually known to transmit electric energy but in telecommunications fields, cables are used to transmit electromagnetic waves, they are called electromagnetic wave guides
  • SIGNAL CABLE: A signal cable is an electrical cable of one or more insulated conductors enclosed by a common conductive layer. The shield may be composed of braided strands of copper, a non-braided spiral winding of copper tape, or a layer of conducting polymer
  • FIRE CABLE: used as heat resistance cables. They are mainly used in fire alarms and emergency lighting circuits
  • FIBRE OPTIC CABLE: a cable made of optical fibres that can transmit large amounts of information at the speed of light
  • CATEGORY 5E AND 6: Category 5 cable (Cat 5) is a twisted pair cable for carrying signals. This type of cable is used in structured cabling for computer networks
  • COAXIAL CABLE: Coaxial cable, or coax, is a type of cable that has an inner conductor surrounded by a tubular insulating layer, surrounded by a tubular conducting shield
  • KYNAR/TEFZEL WIRE: special plastic material in the fluoropolymer family; it is used generally in applications requiring the highest purity, strength, and resistance to solvents, acids, bases and heat and low smoke generation during a fire event. 
  • PVC WIRE: PVC is commonly used as the insulation on electrical cables; PVC  acts as the source of the wires’ fire retardance.
  • LSZH WIRE AND CABLE: LSZH cable jacketing emits limited smoke and no halogen when exposed to high sources of heat. Protects people and equipment from toxic and corrosive gases. 
  • RIBBON CABLE: The purpose of ribbon cable is that it transmits numerous signals or electrical pulses whilst adjacent to each other, offering a space saving and efficient alternative to large amounts of connected wires and cables
  • BRAIDED CABLES: A flat cable made from bare woven wire. Similar to stranded wires, braided wires are better conductors than solid wires. Braided wires do not break easily when flexed. Braided wires are often suitable as an electromagnetic shield in noise-reduction cables
  • SILICONE WIRE: Used for typical industrial applications including food processing, packaging, refrigeration, furnaces and lighting.
  • SOLID CORE WIRE: Solid wire is cheaper to manufacture than stranded wire and is used where there is little need for flexibility in the wire. Solid wire also provides mechanical ruggedness; and, because it has relatively less surface area which is exposed to attack by corrosives, protection against the environment
  • STRANDED WIRE: Stranded wire is composed of a number of small gauge wire bundled or wrapped together to form a larger conductor. Stranded wire is more flexible than solid wire of the same total cross-sectional area. Stranded wire tends to be a better conductor than solid wire because the individual wires collectively comprise a greater surface area. Stranded wire is used when higher resistance is required
  • PTFE WIRE: In industrial applications, owing to its low friction, PTFE is used for applications where sliding action of parts is needed: bearings, gears, slide plates, etc. Also hydrophobic, this makes it suitable for use as an insulator in cable assemblies
  • POWER CABLE: A power cable is an assembly of two or more electrical conductors, usually held together with an overall sheath. The assembly is used for transmission of electrical power. Power cables may be installed as permanent wiring within buildings, buried in the ground, run overhead, or exposed. Flexible power cables are used for portable devices, mobile tools and machinery

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