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, 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 include:
Parameters of telecommunication and computer cables (also known as categories) are defined in the norms applicable to particular communication standards.
The industrial cables group includes:
They are used for:
Apart from installation cables, this group should also include other types of cables with unique properties, e.g.:
The audio cables group includes:
See also: Cables and wires for audio devices
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:
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.
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.