Modern wiring materials like Copper and Aluminium are subject to various safety standards. You need to keep an eye on their design and installation process. These cables and wires have specific sizes and types according to their operating circuit’s electric current capacity and voltage. Some of the wiring materials also come with restrictions due to various environmental conditions, such as moisture levels, exposure to chemicals and sunlight, and ambient temperature range.
Consideration for modern wiring materials
Electricians need to consider many things when it comes to installing the wiring system of a house or building. Current, functional specification, distribution devices, control, and association circuit protection are some of the factors that electricians keep in mind. Also, wiring safety codes come into play. These codes vary according to different countries, regions, and localities.
Modern wiring materials
Modern wiring consists of thermoplastic insulation. They have two to four non-metallic sheathed cables on top of the insulation, along with a bare wire. This wire is useful for grounding. Most of these cables have a flexible plastic jacket for added protection. Some have paper-wrapped conductors just below the plastic jacket. These, however, are regular cables. The advanced non-metallic sheathed wires have unique designs suitable for direct underground burial. You can also use them on areas that experience exposure to UV rays. The cables have moisture-resistant construction, making them ideal for external use.
You may often see modern wiring materials in houses and buildings. Apart from these places, electricians also use them in factories. Most of these cables have rubber-like synthetic polymer insulation that is ideal for underground installation because of their excellent moisture-resistance. There are a couple of regulations these cables need to follow:
• They will have ratings according to their operating voltage. Different areas have different voltage limits. Electricians need to keep the voltage limit in mind before selecting the appropriate insulated cable.
• Apart from operating voltage, the cables also need to consider the maximum operating temperature. This temperature should be compatible with the conductor’s surface.
Electricians often have to deal with tricky situations due to these factors. Most modern cables carry multiple usage ratings. For example, one rating for exposure to oil or moisture and another for dry installations. The electrician needs to install the cables according to the maximum operating temperature of the conductor’s surface.
Sizes of wiring materials
The sizes of wiring materials also differ according to their use. For example, single conductor building wires have a comparatively smaller size than industrial cables. Industrial cables have to flexible because they cover a wider network. Buildings, on the other hand, don’t require too much flexibility. Building wires have a size of approximately 6 mm2, which is ideal because of the small spaces they have to go through.
Industrial cables will have insulated conductors packed in a jacket and taped with aluminium armour. Some even have lead or PVC jackets for more protection from physical damage and moisture. Modern wiring materials used in marine applications also have woven bronze wires. There are times when electricians need to use mica-flaked insulated wires instead of the regular cables. However, this is specific only for steel mills or industries that have a warm environment throughout the year.
In addition to mica-flaked insulated cables, electricians also use mineral-insulated cables. These have individual conductors that come inside a copper tube with magnesium oxide powder. The entire unit is cut into smaller sizes to fit different nooks and corners. This allows the cables to compress the magnesium oxide powder. These cables also come with certified fire resistance ratings. They are usually costlier than regular cables or non-fire rated cables. You will often see them in factories that deal with fire 24 x 7.
Modern wiring materials use two types of conductors: copper and aluminium. Here’s why.
1. Copper conductors
Copper conductors have many benefits:
• They have high conductivity.
• They have unmatched tensile strength.
• They are more ductile than other conductors.
• They are corrosion-resistant, creep-resistant, have better thermal expansion coefficient and thermal conductivity, and resistance to electrical overloads.
• They are easy to install.
Copper is one of the most popular electrical conductors right now. Electricians use them in almost every electrical wiring category, such as power transmission, power generation, electronic circuitry, telecommunications, entertainment systems, and many more.
2. Aluminium conductors
Aluminium, although slightly outdated right now, is still prevalent in various electrical fields. They are widely used for bulk power distribution to handle heavy current loads. Copper conductors are still not capable enough to handle bulk power. Moreover, aluminium conductors are cheaper compared to copper conductors. They are also lightweight, making them suitable for bulk distribution.
Modern wiring materials went through a massive change a couple of decades ago after copper became the primary ingredient. But every wire manufacturer needs to follow the safety guidelines to ensure the cables don’t become the source of accidents.