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Knowledgebase Article

Types of Cable


Cable comes in many different shapes and sizes. Different cables should be used in different situations. Here at M and R Electrical Wholesaling we will explain some of the different cable types to make things less confusing for you.

TPS stands for tough plastic shield. This cable is usually white and is surrounded by a hard plastic shield. This type of cable is usually used in houses. It is one of the cheapest cables around, and isn't designed for industrial use. Typical sizes are 1.5mm^2 and 2.5mm^2 "twin and earth" (although you can get more than this). These cables have an "active" wire, a "neutral" wire and an earth wire. 1.5mm^2 is used for lighting circuits and 2.5mm^2 is used for power circuits.

armoured cable is a special cable used mainly on mine sites. It is a normal orange circular cable surrounded by protective steel strands. The steel strands are designed to limit the damage to cable if it has been knocked or hit.

Orange circular:
as the name suggests, orange circular cable is a circular cable that is orange. It has been UV treated and is normally used in industrial and commercial areas. It usually contains 3 to 5 wires, depending on the application.

Building wire:
building wire is a single cable with a single layer of insulation. With the invention of TPS it is becoming less and less common. Building wire is normally used in houses.

SDI stands for single cable, double insulated. It is a single cable with a double layer of insulation. This second layer of insulation provides extra mechanical protection, and is a requirement in some installations.

flexible cable is much more flexible than your standard cable. The cable consists of 27 strands per square millimetre. Normal cable has many less strands than this. This type of cable is using things like extension leads.

coaxial cable is a special type of cable that has been designed to handle high frequency signals. Coaxial cable is the type of cable found going to your TV aerial.

EMC cable is a type of cable that comes with a special outer sheath that blocks electromagnetic signals. It is commonly used to connect variable speed drives to electric motors, because variable speed drives emit high-frequency noise that can interfere with radio signals.