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Knowledge Sharing


Anatomy of a Cable

Central Cables Berhad knowledge sharing initiative

An electrical cable is a lifeline to our modern lifestyle. Most often you do not see it but it’s always there working for you 24/7, all your life from the moment you are born into this world. It is used to bring electricity into your homes, powering your fans, lightings, air conditioners, and all other modern lifestyle appliances that we grow so accustomed to. Really. Almost everything runs on electricity nowadays.

Ever wondered what is an electrical cable made of? Or how many types of construction and sizes are there? There are even special cable types which are designed to still operate for a limited duration even when a building is on fire.

So, we will share with you what’s inside a electrical cable, what is the purpose of each layer and how it’s made. Our knowledge sharing series will be divided into several main parts, which is then further divided into smaller sub-sections.


Part 1 – Conductors

Part 2 – Insulation

Part 3 – Cabling / Armoring

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Part 4 – Screening

Part 5 – Outersheath

Part 2 (a) – Insulation

There are many types of electrical insulation in use today, with each having unique physical and chemical properties. Most common insulation materials used in electrical cables are made from of plastic-polymer based compounds. Ever wondered why bare conductors used in high voltage transmission systems do not have any insulation? The answer: air is a natural…

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Part 1 (i) – Conductor

Copper and aluminium are primary choices of material for cable conductors due to its mechanical, electrical properties and of course price of the commodity itself. The table above show the comparison between various metals according to the International Annealed Copper Standard (IACS). The diagram on the right illustrates that different material due to different conductivity…

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Part 1 (h) – Conductor

The routine test shall be tested on conductor to determine the DC resistance of the conductor at 20 oC and the measured value shall not exceed the appropriate maximum specified in table of IEC 60228 and BS 6360. This type of test is done on a 1 meter sample in a laboratory using a double…

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Part 1 (g) – Conductor

Current carrying capacity depends on the cross-sectional area of the conductor and the material it is made from. The complexity of cable routes and environmental constraints such as burial depth, type of soil will also influence the current rating. It is often referred to as “derating factor”. Therefore engineers and designers, when calculating power load…

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Part 1 (f) – Conductor

Almost any type of copper or aluminium conductor produced today undergoes concentric stranding to build up to a desired cross-sectional area. For instance it is much more practical and cost effective to produce a 19-wire 35mm2 conductor than to produce a single solid 35mm2 conductor.  90,560 total views

 90,560 total views

Part 1 (e) – Conductor

Calculating conductor weight is fairly straight forward. No complex formulas here. Simply multiply the conductor cross-sectional area by the material density of that conductor.   Disclaimer: Our product knowledge sharing series is intended for information and educational purposes only. It shall not be construed as a technical guide or guarantee on our part. If you…

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