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HomeTips & GuidesIndustrial Cable: Specifications, Advantages, and Customization Options

Industrial Cable: Specifications, Advantages, and Customization Options

Heavy-duty electronic machines and equipment require industrial cables to power or transmit signals in their harsh application areas. 

As the name suggests, these cables are ideal for industrial uses, such as electrical power transmission. 

Let’s look at the advantages, specifications, and customization options for these cables below.

Table of Contents

What Are Industrial Cables?

All electrical devices have electrical power cables to connect power between the internal components to form the circuit. 

But industrial cables are not your ordinary power cables. Manufacturers make them to handle demanding applications, usually for instrumentation, control, and power devices.

Industrial cable manufacturing (note the spools)

Industrial cable manufacturing (note the spools)

Power-rating-wise, these cables can handle high voltages ranging from 300V to as high as 35KV.

 Such high power levels require thick jacket materials unless they run naked like the ones for overhead power transmission.

Jacket Materials To Consider

The conductor material in these cables is usually copper or aluminum. What differs is the insulation because it can be either of the following.

  • TFE (Teflon)
  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
  • Neoprene
  • FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene)
  • PFA (Perfluoroalkoxy)

A long, black industrial wiring cable

  • Tefzel
  • PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene)
  • CPE (Chlorinated Polyethylene)
  • XLPE (Cross-Linked Polyethylene)
  • PE (Polyurethane)
  • TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer)

Tefzel and Teflon are registered trademarks with ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) and PTFE, respectively, as the base materials. But they can have slightly different properties.

Industrial Cable Specifications

This characteristic primarily covers the insulation material because it should match its industrial application, which can be clean rooms, chemical plants, food processing factories, etc.

PVC wires are the most typical for general-purpose wiring because the material is flame retardant and resistant to chemicals like alkalis, oils, and acids. 

These industrial cables are also abrasion-resistant and are typical in Europe for control applications.

On the other hand, polyurethane cables are suitable for chemical plants, clean rooms, and food processing industrial environments because the material does not harbor bacteria. 

Additionally, the material does not tear easily and resists chemicals like oils.

LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen) material insulations are ideal for insulating wires used in sensitive equipment that can experience damage when exposed to toxins or corrosive materials.

An industrial cable spool with an orange LSZH insulation

An industrial cable spool with an orange LSZH insulation

Halogens are the six elements in the periodic table’s group 17. They include fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, astatine, and tennessine. 

These elements are highly reactive and can corrode other materials once released as the insulation burns. So, avoid insulations like PVC in such applications.

Advantages of Using Industrial Cables in Industrial Applications

Using these cables for their intended applications has the following benefits.

Safety

Manufacturers build industrial cables to meet the strict regulations and safety standards in various industry-standard certifications, such as UL, CSA, NEMA, ISO, IEEE, and USCG.

Therefore, the cables have advanced features, such as fire resistance, chemical resistance, high voltage ratings, and noise reduction.

 These features mean industrial wires will keep your workers and equipment safe.

An electric station with industrial electrical cables

An electric station with industrial electrical cables

Durability

In addition to being safe, industrial cables are highly durable because they have the required insulation to withstand harsh environments in their specific application areas.

For instance, polyurethane industrial cable assemblies will not get worn out easily after years of exposure to food processing fluids, such as edible oils.

These industrial cable types can also withstand extreme temperatures, high voltages, impact, flexing, and moisture, meaning they will last. Their high cost is worth the money.

Versatility

Like other cable assemblies, industrial power cables are available in several types and gauges. 

The gauge electric cable size is arguably the most crucial factor because it determines the current carrying capacity of the electrical conductor inside.

Workers laying a thick, high-voltage cable line

Workers laying a thick, high-voltage cable line

Therefore, you can get the specific cable size for a wide range of applications in the communication, transmission, instrumentation, and control industries.

Cost-Effectiveness

The durable construction of these industrial cables makes them more expensive than regular cable assemblies, but their high cost translates to value for money in the long run because the wires will last.

On top of that, they will require little to no maintenance. During maintenance, you must shut down the systems, resulting in downtime.

 Industrial cables give minimal downtime. Combining these factors makes these wires more cost-effective in the long haul.

Reliability

Durability and reliability usually go hand-in-hand. And since industrial cables are sturdy and durable enough to withstand harsh environments, their reliability is top-notch. 

Additionally, the wires undergo rigorous testing and quality control to ensure they meet the required industry standards.

Available Customizations for Industrial Cables To Meet Different Requirements

Most industrial cable manufacturers can customize these factors to meet your specific requirements.

Flexibility

Generally, thick solid wires are not flexible and can snap if twisted several times. But stranded cables are more flexible. 

The primary reason for using solid core wires is they have a higher current-carrying capacity than their stranded counterparts of the same size.

A 2-core PVC stranded wire

A 2-core PVC stranded wire

So, you should be able to get solid core industrial wires for applications that don’t require flexing and stranded cables for flexible tasks.

Temperature

High temperatures make wires less conductive, while extremely low temperatures make them inflexible and brittle. 

The temperature of the conductor usually matches the ambient temperature.

Therefore, the only way to regulate the heat or cold in the conductor is by altering the insulation type and thickness. 

Playing around with these variables can create cables that can withstand lows of up to -65°C and highs of 250°C.

Resistance to the Elements

Like the temperature factor, a cable’s insulation determines its resistance properties. 

Each jacket material listed earlier gives different resistance to the elements to suit various applications.

An industrial 4-core copper wire

An industrial 4-core copper wire

Wrap Up

Heavy-duty equipment and machines require the wires to match, and industrial cables are the right choice for their application. 

Although expensive, these wires have reliability, durability, safety, and versatility advantages, meaning the cable will make economic sense in the long run. 

That’s it for now. Check out this electric car charger cable piece to learn more about these vehicle power cables.

I am Lillian Yang, having been a sales manager for over 10 years.

I have received many positive reviews from customers. They have praised our excellent service, on-time delivery, and high-quality cable assemblies.

For your projects, please provide cable assembly files/images/smples, etc., so that I can send you a quotation within 24 hours.

Contact me now and let’s get started on building your wire harnesses!

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