What are cable ratings?

When choosing cables for specific application, what should i look for if i want to know the cable performance through its ratings?
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Cable ratings refer to the parameters by which an electrical cable can be safely used in various applications. These ratings provide essential information about the cable’s performance, safety, and suitability for specific applications. Common cable ratings and their meanings are listed below:

  • Voltage Rating: This indicates the maximum voltage that the cable can safely handle without breaking down or causing electrical insulation failure. Common voltage ratings for cables include LV, MV, and HV.
  • Current Rating (Ampacity): This specifies the maximum continuous current that a cable can carry safely without overheating; exceeding the current rating can lead to cable damage and even fire hazards.
  • Temperature Rating: This indicates the range of temperatures at which the cable can operate safely, including the maximum operating temperature and the minimum installation temperature.
  • Bend Radius:  is the minimum allowable curvature that a cable can safely undergo without risking damage to its conductors, insulation, or shielding.
  • Wire Size:  is typically measured in American Wire Gauge (AWG) or square millimeters (mm²), and is an important factor in determining an electrical wire’s current-carrying capacity.
  • Flame Resistance: is the ability of a cable to resist or slow the spread of flame when exposed to ignition source. High fire retardancy reduces the fire risks in the event of a short circuit or electrical fault.

These electrical cable ratings provide a basis for selecting the right cable for specific electrical applications, ensuring that the cable operates safely and efficiently within the specified parameters.

More: How to Determine the Optimal Electrical Cable Size

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