Finding the right cable with the right properties can be difficult, especially if it’s meant for industrial applications, where the demands are significantly higher. Industrial cables are exposed to a lot of wear and tear, as well as to the weather elements, which means they need to have a durable coating that’s also flame-, chemical-, and moisture-resistant. Plus, it should protect the cable from any mechanical damage. However, cable coating shouldn’t be seen as a replacement to cable reinforced armour, even though it provides a high, yet limited amount of protection.
Depending on what you intend to use the cable for, you’ll have to consider its characteristics. For instance, does flexibility matter to you? If yes, then you need to get a cable that has a long flex life and it is easy to use. Are you going to use the cable in winter or arctic climates? If yes, then you need a cable that’s flexible in low temperatures. Chemical resistance, surface texture, compliance, approval, high-temperature survivability, flame resistance and elastic memory are all factors you should consider, of course depending on how you intend to use it.
The material the cable jacket is made of has a huge impact on its properties. The most commonly used jacket materials include PVC, PVE, PUR, TRP, Thermoplastic CPE and Thermoset Polyolefins.
Polyurethane cables are typically very elastic, which makes them the ideal electric cable hoists. They are typically abrasion resistant, perform well when exposed to ozone and oil, and are flexible in low-temperature environments. These features make them not just the ideal electric cable hoists, but also ideal for all types of cord and coil applications.
PVC can be utilised in a wide range of applications and environments – it’s usually flexible, flame and oil resistant, low-cost and decently durable. It either has a slick, matte or a glossy finish.
PE cables have great electrical properties and high insulation resistance. They can be very hard and stiff, but there are also low-density variants that are more flexible. Moreover, PE has excellent weather and moisture resistance properties.
TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber)
Thermoplastic rubber has great low-temperature properties and is quite affordable. It also has decent flexibility, chemical, and oil resistance. Speaking of resistance, it has great abrasion resistance and surface texture. However, it’s not as rugged as PUR cables are.
Thermoplastic CPE (Chlorinated Polyethylene)
These cables are typically used in harsh environments. They’re very rigid, lightweight, have a low coefficient of friction and a rough surface texture. They’re considered quite affordable, given the fact that they have high levels of chemical, UV, moisture- and oil resistance.
These cables are 100% melt-resistant. They have excellent elasticity and memory, an incredible low-temperature flexibility, heat and UV resistance, and are extremely rugged.