What is a cable?

Yana Lisitsina
Yana Lisitsina
October 15, 2014
What is a cable?

In this article, we will discuss the meaning of the term “cable” and the classification of cables.

Defining what a cable is, the dictionaries say the following: it is the design of one or more conductors of electricity (lived) or optical fibers, isolated from each other and closed by a shell. In addition, the cable structure may include a core, armor, aggregate, etc., depending on where and for what this particular type of cable is used.

Cable classification

Depending on the structure, it is common to divide the types of cables according to:

  • the presence and type of insulation (paper, plastic, rubber, etc.);
  • the presence and type of screen (copper or aluminum foil, mesh or spiral braid, etc.);
  • the number of veins (2, 4, 19, 37, etc.);
  • the material from which the cores are made (hard or soft copper wire, hard or soft aluminum wire);
  • the material of which the shell is made (polyethylene, polyvinyl, rubber, metal);
  • flexibility indicators (for mobile and fixed connection);
  • indicators of permissible voltage (0,66; 1; 3; 6; 10; 20; 35 kV).

Depending on the purpose, cables are distinguished:

  • control;
  • power for stationary installation under voltage up to 35 kV;
  • power for stationary installation for voltage from 110 kV and above;
  • power for non-stationary laying;
  • management;
  • symmetric connections;
  • coaxial connections;
  • telephone communications;
  • telephone distribution;
  • radio frequency;
  • heating: with mineral insulation; self-regulating; with constant power of parallel type; consistent type with polymer insulation; self limiting;
  • other products (optical, ship, hose, etc.)

Depending on the purpose, there are two main groups of cables:

  • Power (used to distribute electric current between different electrical receivers, distributors);
  • Control (are the link between the current source and devices, devices and other structures that work with current).

In addition, some cables are capable of transmitting radio signals - these are the so-called “radiating cables”. They are used, for example, in the metro, in underground garages and offices, in some security systems.And others are designed to convert the energy of electric current into heat over long distances - these are the so-called "heating cables." They are used, for example, to heat the roof and gutters in buildings.

Cable properties can be identified by labeling, which includes the use of color, tags and labels, symbols, and electronic markers. Depending on the country of the cable manufacturer, the same marker may indicate completely different data.

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