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Anixter Applications Engineer, Samantha Koch gives us a basic introduction to what's in a cable with this cable components 101 video.

Cable Components 101 Video Transcript

Hi, everyone. My name is Samantha Koch, and I work as an applications engineer in the Eletrical and Electronic Wire & Cable department here at Anixter. Today, I will be going over Cable Components 101. Cables today come in a variety of different types, sizes and materials. The makeup of the cable is usually determined by three different things:

  • Working voltage
  • Current carrying capacity
  • Environmental conditions

I’m going to break it down for you and going to start from the inside and then work our way outside.


So starting from the inside, we have the conductor. The conductor is the most important part of the whole entire cable, as it’s the current carrier. It could be either copper or aluminum and is usually solid for smaller sizes or stranded for bigger sizes for better flexibility.


Moving outward, we have the conductor shield. The conductor shield is very important as it provides for a smooth, radial electric field within the insulation and also helps prevent electrical noise. The insulation also helps to prevent unwanted current flow or leakage. Insulations today are usually polymeric and have additional additives such as flame retardants and chew retardants to help expand its lifetime.


Moving outward, we have the insulation shield. The insulation shield is very similar to the conductor shield as it provides a smooth radial electric field within the insulation. It should also be used for its stripability, as it needs to be stripped to be able to be terminated later or sliced.


Moving outward, we have the metallic shield. The metallic shield is usually used for the flow of the current or for the fault current.


Moving outward, we have the jacket. So much like the jacket that we wear, this jacket helps against environmental conditions such as temperature, water or chemicals. It also really helps with mechanical wear and tear.


Well, that’s a wrap with our Cable Components 101. Thank you for tuning in. See you next time. Thank you.