Get Just What You Need with Custom Cables: Part 2

Posted on Monday, August 11, 2014 by Alpha Wire

While the earliest cables were left uninsulated, that’s generally not the case now. In most applications, the decision isn't whether or not to insulate, but which insulation to choose and how much to apply. Some popular insulation materials include:


  • Polyvinylchloride (PVC), which is the most common, as it operates at a wide range of temperatures and is inexpensive.
  • Fluorinated ethylene-propylene (FEP), which can withstand temperatures of 200°C, nearly double that of PVC.
  • Polyethylene (PE), which can be used in extreme cold. Its low dielectric constant means that it insulates effectively and can potentially be made thinner than other materials.
  • Polypropylene (PP), which is a tougher alternative to PE.
  • Thermoplastic Elastomer (TE), which operates in the cold like PE, can handle heat better than PVC, and is resistant to many chemicals and water-proof.
  • Modified Polyphenylene Ether (mPPE), which offers a broad range of operating temperatures and is extremely thin and light while also being environmentally friendly.


Between the insulation and the conductor, shielding can also help to increase capabilities of the cable. Depending on the type of shield chosen, it can provide additional protection for the signals from electromagnetic interference (EMI) caused by ballasts or motors, or electrostatic interference from spikes or high-frequency EMI. Other shields can serve as a layer of armor, working with the jacket to physically protect the conductor inside.


A custom combination of conductor, shield, and insulation can combine to create a cable to fit any application. Custom cables can also be configured to meet industry and governmental standards. Certain components can be selected to comply with the NFPA 79 fire-protection standard for use inside of industrial machinery. Green cables meet environmental standards. While most cables lack radioactive substances or asbestos, specific choices can be made to further reduce the use of other restricted substances.


Finally, custom cables can be configured in terms of delivery and appearance. They can be purchased in varying lengths, on reels, or pre-cut. They can also have a custom jacket color and even custom printing, which can be a useful product design and branding tool for cabling that will be visible to the end consumer.  Coast Custom Cables from Alpha Wire can help you design the perfect cable for your application needs.


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