Electrical cables are a set of wires or other conductors insulated with an insulating material. The function of the insulation is to prevent electrically charged particles from escaping into various media, such as air or soil. Electrical wires are used in power transmission and distribution and are therefore critical to modern infrastructure, most famously for electricity generation and telecommunications and computer networks. Below are the vital factors to consider while buying them:
Electrical wires are designed to carry electricity and thus must withstand various risks. One type of risk is accidental physical damage. This can occur when carrying power over long distances, as well as due to sudden movements in the infrastructure or operator error. In most cases, the conductor material (such as copper) acts as a physical shock absorber that protects against such damage.
It is always great to find cables with higher voltage ratings for various uses before purchase. The rating of a wire is the amount of electricity that can flow through it for a given period, measured in volts. For example, a 12-gauge copper wire can safely carry around 6000 volts. It ensures that your cable can withstand the voltage rating required for each use (such as power transmission). In some cases, an electrical cable is also fitted with higher voltage ratings than its intended use. But understand that it comes at an extra cost.
The function of the conductor, such as copper or aluminum, is to carry electricity from one end to another. This is because electricity tends to escape into other media (such as air) for various reasons (such as insulation breakdown and lightning). In most cases, the insulating material around the conductor prevents such leakage. For instance, some electrical wires use polyvinyl chloride, which might be toxic depending on where it ends up. Instead, it is better to use cables with industrial-grade insulation materials designed for high voltage applications.
The function of electrical insulation is to protect from the external environment. For example, the insulation material should withstand extreme temperature conditions, high humidity levels, and water immersion (such as being submerged underwater). To ensure that electrical wires can carry current safely, it is necessary to look at the conditions where they are used before purchasing.
The sheath or outer casing on the cable protects from external damage. It also prevents electrical wires from damaging nearby infrastructure. A typical example is how some types of metal (such as copper) can corrode when exposed to various chemicals and other kinds of metal. The sheath generally consists of a plastic coating designed to prevent corrosion. Electric solid cables are usually designed with a galvanized steel outer casing to prevent damage from heavy objects, such as vehicles and foot traffic.
Electrical cables are critical to modern infrastructure both for power transmission and distribution. Therefore, consider the above factors when buying electrical wires, especially for industrial and broadcast applications with high voltage specifications. Choose one that will offer the best value, high-quality performance, and reliability.