Country: United Kingdom

Ribbon Cables and their applications

Single- and multi-coloured ribbon cables are used e.g. in fixed connections in telecommunication devices or electronic control systems for machines.

Telephone cables in practice

These cables are used not only in telecommunications, but they also proved to be good for standard telephone connections with the most common number of cores.

Overview of cable types

The selection of cables is as wide as the scope of their applications, and it’s nothing odd, as they are the crucial component of any installations using electrical power.

The production process is relatively simple, but there is no one global standard for marking the cables. It causes a lot of trouble in selecting an appropriate cable and makes the repair process difficult, e.g. when a damaged cable needs to be replaced with a new one with identical parameters.

Cables for electrical installations

Cables for electrical installations, supplying power from a grid to loads, are very important in terms of safety and reducing fire hazard. That’s why this group has the largest number of standards defined, and the parameters, such as the quality of insulation, cross-section of a core, materials, and even colours, are strictly normalized.

Telecommunication and computer cables

Telecommunication and computer cables include:

Parameters of telecommunication and computer cables (also known as categories) are defined in the norms applicable to particular communication standards.

Industrial cables

The industrial cables group includes:

  • signal cables,
  • control cables,
  • signalling cables.

They are used for:

  • connecting installation components in industrial automation*,
  • connecting sensors to their drivers,
  • connecting motors and drives.

Apart from installation cables, this group should also include other types of cables with unique properties, e.g.:

  • flexible and spiral cables for transporters, mobile picking stations and cranes
  • and cables of reinforced mechanical construction, resistant to stretching or stepping on.

Audio cables

The audio cables group includes:

  • shielded microphone cables,
  • instrument and speaker cables,
  • low-noise cables made of high-quality oxygen-free copper and designed for devices for audiophiles.

See also: Cables and wires for audio devices

High frequency cables

Another important and populous group of cables are the high frequency cables, i.e. concentric (coaxial) cables) with fixed wave impedance (50, 75 Ω). They are divided into two main categories: thick low loss cables and thin flexible cables for short connections.

Numerous high frequency cables are for specialist use:

  • high-voltage cables (with several layers of insulation),
  • welding and ignition cables, with large cross-sections and high heat resistance,
  • intrinsically safe cables (ATEX),
  • cables for photovoltaic installations (with large cross-sections, double-insulated and resistant to environmental conditions),
  • cables for underwater applications,
  • ribbon (planar) cables for data buses,
  • cables for medical and food industries that can be washed with hot water, and are tested for hazardous substances,
  • hybrid cables, with cables of different types and destination in a single sheath, e.g. copper, optical, coaxial, or signal cables.

Car industry cables

Car industry cables form a separate category. These are highly flexible cables with non-combustible insulation allowing for work in a broad range of temperatures.

See also:


Numerous types and categories of cables available on the market should be perceived as a signal that to be able to select the appropriate product, you need to clearly specify your needs in terms of electricity, environment, and application. Defining your needs will be the first step, which allows you to start your search and judge whether a particular cable is appropriate for you.