Cables and wires are an essential part of an endless range of machines, items, processes and products – with all of the buildings we use to go about our daily lives, whether these are schools, homes, or offices, sprawling with cables and wires, ensuring everything is working just as it should be.
Of course, such is the nature of a wire or cable that there are countless types, designed with a specific purpose in mind, such as transmitting a picture to a television screen, carrying electricity to power a home, or securing goods that need tying down in order to be safely transported.
For each of these different functions and purposes, there are particular properties required in order to create a wire that is strong in the correct area.
Whether you’re making a cable at home for a DIY remedy, or you are looking to purchase a cable to take care of a specific purpose, you’ll need to pay close consideration to the material the cable is made from – as getting this wrong could mean you end up with a wire that doesn’t achieve its intended function.
Read on to find out more about some of the most popular materials used for making wires and cables, and their relevant applications.
Considered the king of electronic wires and cables, copper possesses a large number of properties that make it exceptionally well performing when it comes to electronic functionality.
The most important factor in choosing a material for a purpose such as electronics is conductivity – the ease of which electricity passes through it. Copper is extremely conductive, meaning electricians use it across a huge range of applications, in essentially all areas of electrical wiring.
These aren’t the only properties that make copper great for electronics – it has extremely high tensile strength, and is both corrosion resistant and creep resistant.
While often overlooked in favor of copper when it comes to electronics, steel is still an essential material in the production of wires and cables across a huge range of types. While less conductive, steel possesses qualities much better used in industry and the carrying of large weights, supporting structures and being used in levers and machinery.
There are processes that can be undertaken in order to change the structural makeup of steel, such as the process of galvanization. Galvanized steel wire is far more resistant to corrosion than steel that has not been galvanized.
Silver is a metal that most would reasonably associate with jewelry, and other items of high value – but it is also a highly useful metal to use when crafting wires and cables, or purchasing them from the local hardware store.
Not only is silver an incredibly conductive material, but it also has significant durability that will ensure the cables last as long as possible. What’s more, silver is a soft metal and can easily bend and twist with the usual daily pressures that are expected from a household charging cable.