Different Types of Industrial Electric Wires

Different Types of Industrial Electric Wires

Just like there are many different types of industrial electrical installations, there also are many types of industrial cables and their applications. Electrical installations include switches, light fittings and sockets, but also networks, audio and video setups and installations in temperature-sensitive conditions.

What Are Industrial Cables? 

Basically, there are two different types of electronic cables: commercial grade and industrial grade. Commercial-grade cables are what you can buy at a regular hardware or electronics store, while industrial-grade cables have significant differences in both structure and quality in comparison.

Industrial-grade cables are specifically designed to withstand outside forces to guarantee performance in mission-critical environments. These types of cables in power systems have stronger outer jacket shields that protect the cable from fire, abrasion, oil, water or chemicals and also have a braid design to facilitate higher resistance to damage caused by bending or twisting the cable.

Especially in an industrial environment, the protection of the cables and, with this, their performance is critical. Contact Tevelec at 877-838-3532 today to find out which products are right for your application.

The 6 Main Types of Industrial Cables and their Applications

As mentioned before, there are many different industrial cables for different applications, so here we will point out some of the main types of industrial cables and their applications:

1. Multi-conductor Cables (FT-4)

You can find multi-conductor cables in virtually every electronic product, be it at home, the office, automobile, or all other buildings. Multi-conductor cables are found in computer systems, control systems, electronics, business machines, cash registers, alarm systems, audio speakers, POTS telephone systems, thermostats, doorbells, and other low-voltage remote systems, and are one of the most common types of cables in networking.

Depending on the application, there are shielded and unshielded multi-conductor cables, which include audio control cable, speaker cable, station “Z” wire, thermostat cable, and power-limited tray cable.

Audio control cable is available in both shielded and unshielded types and is a specialized cable suitable where a flexible control cable is required that is subject to EMI interference. An example of the application of Station Z wiring is security control wiring in commercial settings, while low-voltage unshielded thermostat cable is designed for use in thermostat controls, doorbells, security systems, and other remote systems where the voltage does not exceed 30V.

Power-limited tray cables are an example of a shielded multi-conductor cable and are suitable for cable tray insertions, power-limited circuits, intercom systems, business machines, cash registers, and dozens of other applications.

multi conductor cable
multi conductor cable

2. Plenum Cable (FT-6)

Cables laid in the plenum spaces of buildings (the space used to facilitate air circulation) are referred to as Plenum cable. Plenum space might include the space between a fixed and drop ceiling or space under a raised floor. Because fire can spread quickly in plenum spaces, plenum cable and wire carries a high heat rating and fire resistance. A plenum is defined as a compartment or enclosure where air ducts are connected to create an air distribution system. Plenum cable is simply the cable that runs through these spaces.

Plenum cables are commonly used in electrical or telecommunications. They’re often installed in the air spaces of residential and commercial areas. Some of the applications of plenum cables are fire alarm cables, plenum cat 5 cables, and plenum cox cable. It’s common practice to use plenum cables in routing communication cables for data devices, computers, and alarm systems.

Because plenum cables are transported through circulated air spaces that contain little fire protection, they need to be coated in PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or FEP (fluorinated ethylene polymer). They offer ample resistance against fire, and in case they burn, they won’t emit large amounts of fumes. These make plenum cables safer than their thermoplastic cable counterpart.

Plenum cable can be used for many applications, such as control cables, multi-paired or multi-conductor cables, coaxial cables, network voice and data cables, cables connecting computer or other telecommunications equipment, security and communications.

If your closed circuit video circuit’s application requires the routing of coaxial cable through a plenum space, Tevelec also offers five grades of plenum-rated CCTV coaxial cable.

3. Hookup Wire

Hookup and lead wire products are suitable for the wiring of electrical component wire harnesses. The hookup wire consists of a series of individually color-coded wires within wire harnesses that are available in many different AWG gauges. Hookup wire harnesses are available for many applications, including where high temperature and high voltage conditions occur. Specific applications include motors, transformers, switchboards, panels, rectifiers and electronic circuits.

Lead wire, (or hookup wire) is often used in a wide range of applications, some of which include:

  • Automotive applications
  • Appliances
  • Business machines
  • Control panels
  • Meters
  • Internal wiring of computers
  • Electronic equipment

Lead wires are most often used within enclosed electronic equipment. Certain types of lead wires can even be used in specific military applications.

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4. TEW Wire 

TEW stands for Thermoplastic Equipment Wire and is a specific type of hookup wire. It is specifically designed for switchboards, appliances, electronic circuits, control cabinets, and the wiring of machine tools. It has Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) insulation, which provides excellent resistance to heat, moisture, and oil.

5. High-Temperature Wire

This is a vast range of high-temperature electrical wire products for use where the application demands high-voltage lead wire that can withstand between 150 and 450 degrees Celsius. These lead high-temperature electrical wire products are shielded by braided silicone rubber, PVC, or fluoropolymers and engineered to perform at extremely high temperatures.

Braided Silicon Rubber high-temperature wire and heat-resistant wire are used in the internal wiring of electronic equipment, these lead wire products can operate where temperatures do not rise beyond 200 degrees C. TGGT (Teflon Glass) is a high-temperature lead wire suitable for the internal wiring of commercial and industrial heating and cooking equipment applications, electronic equipment, and other high-temperature appliances. TCGT is a common hookup or high-temperature lead wire, which is wrapped with a fibreglass braid saturated and cured with PTFE. This lead wire is used for the internal wiring of commercial and industrial heating and cooking equipment, electronic equipment, and other high-temperature appliances.

6. Low-Temperature Wire

Similar to high-temperature electrical wire, low-temperature wire is specifically designed to withstand very cold temperatures. At very cold temperatures, typical wire and cable materials will lose flexibility or become brittle. When bent or flexed, these materials can crack or even shatter. For low-temperature applications, cable components must be selected that will retain flexibility and plasticity.

These low-temperature products are shielded with fluoropolymers, polyester, thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) or silicone rubber to ensure insulation and flexibility in low to very low temperatures.

Contact Tevelec for High-quality Industrial Cables Today

Tevelec is a market leader in different types of industrial cables for all industries in Toronto and the GTA. Since 1977, we have been a leading cable supplier and distributor in North America, providing competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Contact us at 905-624-5241 today to find out how we can help you find the right wire for your application!


Which type of cable is best suited for industrial applications?

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cable is one of the most widely used cable in industrial automation. It is designed for medium mechanical stress and offers good resistance to different chemicals.

What are the applications of cables?

The three main applications for industrial cable are power systems, information transmission systems, and mechanical equipment and instrumentation systems.

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