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Wires and preparation for control wiring

Electrical equipment uses a wide variety of wire and cable types and it is up to us to be able to correctly identify and use the wires which have been specified. The wrong wire types will cause operational problems and could render the unit unsafe.

Industrial control wiring guide
Industrial control wiring guide (photo credit:

Such factors include:

  • The insulation material;
  • The size of the conductor;
  • What it’s made of;
  • Whether it’s solid or stranded and flexible.

These are all considerations which the designer has to take into account to suit the final application of the equipment.

A conductor is a material which will allow an electric current to flow easily. In the case of a wire connection, it needs to be a very good conductor. Good conductors include most metals. The most common conductor used in wire is copper, although you may come across others such as aluminium. An insulator on the other hand is a material which does not allow an electric current to flow. Rubber and most plastics are insulators.

Preparing wire
Preparing wire

Insulation materials

Wires and cables (conductors) are insulated and protected by a variety of materials (insulators) each one having its own particular properties. The type of material used will be determined by the designer who will take into account the environment in which a control panel or installation is expected to operate as well as the application of individual wires within the panel.

As part of the insulating function, a material may have to withstand without failing:

  • Extremes of current or temperature;
  • A corrosive or similarly harsh environment;
  • Higher voltages than the rest of the circuit.

Because of these different properties and applications, it is essential that you check the wiring specification for the correct type to use.

Title: Industrial Control Wiring Guide by Bob Mercer
Format: PDF
Size: 1.40 MB
Pages: 134
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Industrial Control Wiring Guide
Industrial Control Wiring Guide

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    Sep 04, 2019

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  2. Sasidharan nair
    May 13, 2017

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    • Edvard
      May 13, 2017

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    Apr 15, 2017

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  4. John
    Feb 11, 2017

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  5. agustin
    Jan 18, 2016

    Good for learners

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