How to Select Bare Conductor Wire and Cable
Image credit: Cooner Wire Company
Bare conductor wire and cable is made of conducting materials to carry electric current.
Buyers may choose between several different types of bare conductor wire and cable.
Solid wire is manufactured from a single solid metal piece. It is inexpensive to produce and provides excellent environmental and corrosive resistance because of its reduced surface area.
Stranded wire is comprised of several small conductors which are wound into a single larger conductor. Stranded wire is much more flexible than solid wire, and for this reason is frequently used in circuit board applications.
Flat strap wire is a solid piece of metal drawn into a flat conductor.
Flat braid wire is a flat conductor comprising several small conductors wound together.
The GlobalSpec SpecSearch database provides information about several types of conductor material.
Aluminum and aluminum alloys feature excellent corrosion resistance and good electrical and thermal conductivity. Aluminum is one third the density of steel, and is often used in power conductors and wire shielding.
Copper and copper alloys also feature excellent corrosion resistance and conductivity, and are easy to fabricate and form. Despite its relatively low strength-to-weight ratio and poor resistance to high temperatures, copper is the most widely used electrical conductor in wires and cables.
Clad steel conductors consist of a steel core fused to an outer shell of aluminum or copper.
Round conductor size is measured in American Wire Gauge (AWG) in the United States. The higher the gauge number, the smaller the diameter and thinner the wire. Thicker wires have less resistance and are able to carry more current. Outside of the U.S., conductors are measured in mm2.
Buyers of flat conductor wire should specify the conductor's width and thickness.
When selecting stranded wire, it is important to specify the number of strands which make up the conductor. Wires with a high amount of strands are more flexible than those with a lesser amount. Conductor wire typically has at least 7 strands: one in the middle with 6 surrounding strands. More flexible wires commonly have 19, 37, or 49 strands. Very large wires, or those manufactured for very flexible applications, may have 70 or more strands.
Bare Conductor Cable and Wire Suppliers on GlobalSpec
|BRIM Electronics, Inc.|
|Cooner Wire Company|
|Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc. (FCX)|
|HI-Tech Controls, Inc.|
|New England Wire Technologies Corporation|