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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 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.  96,725 total views

 96,725 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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Part 1 (d) – Conductor

Last week’s post, we shared the composition and material density of copper, aluminium and aluminium alloy. That determines the strength and conductivity of each material. The chart above shows the comparison between copper and three different grades of aluminium. The unique properties of each grade of material makes it suitable for different uses. For instance:…

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Part 1 (c) – Conductor

Copper, aluminium and aluminium alloys are common materials. For electrical conductors, the copper has to be 99.9% pure and the aluminium must be at least 99.5% pure. Alloys have slightly lower purity as other composite metals are added for tensile strength. Aluminium are more commonly used for aerial and overheads due to it being lighter…

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