With new technologies and inventions taking the world by storm, the electrical wiring industry has branched out to include a variety of cables that cater to various needs. Ordinary cables have a pair of copper or aluminum wires along with an outer protective sheath for insulation purposes. The higher end cables that are specifically designed for transmitting greater capacity of power have multiple insulated wires, encased in synthetic polymers. Although the world of cables and wires is exhaustive, for the purpose of convenience, they are classified into four different segments as per their use and construction. Coaxial cables, twisted pair cables, shielded cables and ribbon cables are the four different categories, under which cables are classified.
Coaxial cables are electrical cables that have been extensively used for transmitting energy and signals to television units. Constructed with a copper conductor, this type of cable has four layers of metallic tape and metallic braid for insulation. To add to its durability, the entire wire is further enclosed in a protective jacket. These cables were initially used for networking computer units, but now, they are also used for transmitting signals to audio and video equipment. Coaxial cables are flexible and due their durable quality, they last longer than other cables. RG/6, leaky cable, twin axial, Bi-axial, hard line and semi-rigid are various types of coaxial cables.
The Twisted pair variety of cables comprises of a set of insulated color coded copper wires which are twisted together to form a single cable. The number of wires and the gauge size used is subject to change as per the appliance. These wires are more effective in reducing electrical interference, which makes them efficient for telephone cabling.
Shielded cables are wires that are covered in a metallic foil with individual wires, encased in a light metal case. As these wires are shielded, there are minimal chances of radiation of electromagnetic waves, which directly impacts the noise emitted by the appliances that use them. Compared to coaxial cables and optical fibers, these wires are less effective in transmitting signals, since the process needs to be repeated for far distances. Hence, their efficiency usage is limited to electrical house wiring alone.
Known as flat twin electric cables, ribbon cables comprise of multiple wires that are insulated and are placed, parallel to each other. They are mainly used for networking purposes in computers. Enclosed in an aluminum foil casing, shielded cables are used as power cables for transmitting electricity to large appliances. They comprise of two insulated wires in a woven braid construction, that is crafted to offer stability and clarity in transmission. Its foiled construction allows it to send better signals, by resisting the radio interference from external elements. These cables comprise of 12-14 individual wires designed in a ribbon-like formation, for simultaneous transmission of data.