The simplest way to understand electric cable is to connect it to the functioning of the nerves in our body. Just like the way nerves empower different parts of your body to perform the action, electric wire cables empower various appliances connected to an electric circuit. Wires are the lifeline of an electric circuit. A wire or a cable delivers the electricity to the appliances as soon as the circuit is switched on via a plug / switch. These wires connect the power source to the power load.
It is generally a multitude of wires that are enclosed in an electrical circuit and these wires are enclosed in an insulated sheath. The primary purpose of the insulation sheath is to prevent short circuit between live and neutral wires. When wires are enclosed in an insulated sheath, the assembly is termed as electric wire cable.
While buying cables or electric wires for sale it is important that you understand the various terminologies. Below is a basic guide to electrical wire and cables would help you source the right wire for your application.
1) Color coding of the wire or cable - A wire cable is available in white, blue, red, black or green color. A blue, red or black colored cable would constitute the live wire. A white insulated wire is neutral, while a green wire is the earthing wire
2) Material of the wire - Copper or Aluminum is the most commonly used material in electric wires. While copper is a superior electrical conductor compared to aluminum, but other aspects like weight and space should also be considered while doing an economic analysis of choosing the right conductor for your application.
3) Rating of the wire or cable - Different applications requires different type of conductors. This need of different application can be defined by:
(a) Current carrying capacity / Voltage / Gauge of the wire - Every electric wire cable is designed to pass only a given value of current or withstand only a given value of voltage. The current or voltage capacity of the wire is related to the gauge and material of the wire cable.
(b) Heat / temperature rating - A wire cable would be labeled for the maximum and peak operating temperature which the cables can withstand.
4) Operating Conditions - A wire cable designed for functioning even in wet condition would have a "W" label on it. While a wire cable designed for working even in an environment where there is oil and gas, is labeled as "N".
Classification of Electrical Wire Cable
Depending on the type of installation and the operating conditions for which the cable is designed, electrical wire cable can be classified as:
NM-B applications: These are generally used indoors in spaces that are dry and free from moisture. These should not be installed in places where it can get exposed to water or heat. These cables should also not be buried in cement, concrete, plaster or underground.
UF cable - It stands for underground feeder. Wires are embedded as a group in solid thermoplastic.
Armored cable (AC) - As the name suggests, is wire enclosed in metal sheathing. The enclosure which is a metal sheathing acts as the grounding conductor. These are relatively expensive and not very commonly used now.
Coaxial cable - These are generally used to carry television signals. A coaxial cable comprises a central wire conductor surrounded by a non-conducting insulating material, which is surrounded by mesh and covered by a thin plastic layer for protection.
Category 5e cables - These are generally used for the purpose of networking computer peripherals. It is also called cat-5e.
There are several sourcing companies such as D&F Liquidators which keep surplus electrical materials and help you source wires & cables suitable for your needs at a reasonable price. They have good knowledge of electrical conduit fittings and can even guide you in choosing the right electrical products. You can contact the company to know how you can get electrical wire for sale.