Rubber cable is a highly elastic polymer cable with reversible deformation, renowned for its exceptional durability and versatility. In this comprehensive exploration, we’ll begin with the specifications and types of rubber cables, subsequently highlighting their essential roles in various applications. Furthermore, We will also conduct a comparison between PVC and rubber electrical cables, illuminating their unique properties to facilitate informed decisions in readers’ material selection. Concluding with a focus on safety, we examine the reliability of rubber cables, affirming their safe use in a wide array of applications.
Rubber Cable Specification.
The specification of rubber cables can vary depending on the type and intended application, yet they generally have a few things in common:
- Conductor: Copper-stranded wire.
- Insulation: Normally EthylenePropylene Rubber (EPR) or Ethylene-Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM).
- Sheath: Typically Chloroprene Rubber (CR).
- Number of cores: From 1 core to 5 core (2-core rubber flexible cables and 3-core rubber cables are the most prevalent).
- Voltage Rating: typically rated at 300/500V or 450/750V, but can be designed to meet low to high voltage requirements.
- Temperature Range: -40°C to +90°C, specialized rubber electrical cables can endure -50°C – +110°C.
The diversity of rubber cable specifications highlights their adaptability and reliability for diverse applications. Having reviewed the specifications of rubber cables, we shall now proceed to examine their applications in various settings.
What is rubber cable used for?
Acclaimed for their flexibility, rubber cables are utilized in diverse settings due to their resistance to water, oil, and abrasion. In industrial environments, these cables power mechanical equipment requiring rugged, vibration-resistant wiring and serve as flexible connections for portable devices. Their prevalent use extends to marine and offshore applications, like powering submersible pumps, thanks to excellent water resistance. Under extreme conditions such as high temperatures or exposure to chemicals, rubber cables are preferred for maintaining integrity. Furthermore, they find widespread use in residential and commercial sectors for wiring appliances and lighting systems.
Overall, rubber cables’ adaptability to both indoor and outdoor settings highlights their utility in meeting diverse electrical needs across challenging environments. Below, let’s take a look at some rubber cable types.
What are types of rubber cable?
Rubber cables can be divided into heavy-duty rubber flexible cables, medium-sized rubber flexible cables, and light rubberized flexible cables based on intended use. Additionally, specialized types like waterproof rubberized flexible cables, welding machine cables, and YHD cables (tinned power connecting cables for field use) are also available. Here, we summarize some of the subdivided rubber cable types:
- H07RNF Cable: Also known as tough rubber sheathed cable. H07RNF cable is a Heavy-duty, neoprene sheathed flexible cable that is known for robustness and is commonly used in industrial and commercial applications for medium to high mechanical stress, like in agricultural electrification, port machinery, searchlights, home industry, large-scale hydraulic drainage and irrigation stations.
- H05RNF Cable: Similar to H07RNF, but designed for lighter applications, such as household appliances and office equipment. H05RNF cable also offers flexibility and durability but isn’t designed for the extreme conditions that H07RNF can endure.
- SOOW Cable: Distinct from European standards, SOOW cable is American grade portable cord designed for indoor and outdoor applications, Where S stands for Service, OO means Oil Resistant Insulation and Oil Resistant sheath, and W stands for Weather Resistant and Water Resistant. Common applications of SOOW cable are in heavy industry, remote control circuits, fire alarm controllers, as well as wiring for portable appliances and small motors. Cables meeting the SOOW spec can also be rated as H07RN-F, known as “harmonised” cable; such cable can be used in both the US and Europe.
- Silicone Rubber Cable: Highly valued for their resistance to extreme temperatures (up to +250°C), excellent electrical insulation, and durability, featuring properties like chemical stability, aging resistance, and flexibility, these halogen-free cables can maintain effective performance even in moist, corrosive environments with high dielectric strength and low dissipation factors.
- Submersible Pump Cable: Tailored for underwater usage, submersible pump cable is primarily utilized in powering submersible pumps. Its waterproof characteristics and resistance to a variety of liquids make it an indispensable element in underwater pumping systems.
Wires have become essential in our daily lives. They power everything in our lives, including our homes and smartphones. However, electrical wires are different, and they have their application environment. Polyvinyl chloride wires and silicone wires are two of the most common types of wires. Each type of wire has its unique qualities and uses. …
From the sturdy H07rnf cable to the high-temperature resistant silicone wire, each type has unique characteristics suited to specific requirements, making rubber coated cable meet a wide range of electrical needs. The following is a comparison between rubberized and PVC cables.
What is the difference between PVC and rubber cable?
While both rubber coated cables and PVC cables are commonly used in electrical applications, they differ in structure composition, application areas, and performance qualities, as detailed below:
Rubber cables are constructed from multiple strands of copper wire, and are insulated and sheathed with rubber material, which enhances the cable’s flexibility, abrasion tolerance, and tear resistance.
PVC cables are generally consist of PVC-insulated copper or aluminum core, and wrapped in PVC sheath, which provides adequate electrical insulation, abrasion, and corrosion resistance for general use, but tends to be less flexible and less resistant to extreme conditions than rubber cables.
Rubber coated cable exhibits superior temperature resilience, capable of operating effectively under extremely high and low temperatures. Consequently, rubber cables are more aptly suited for environments experiencing significant temperature variations.
Rubber flex cables are commonly used as mobile power cords for various electrical equipment and are preferred for industrial applications, outdoor environments, power tools, extreme temperatures, or rough handling areas. PVC cables, on the other hand, are mainly used in fixed installations as cloth wires, control cables, building wires, and power cables, and are common cables for electronic equipment’s internal connections.
PVC wires are less expensive than rubber wires due to the relatively simple manufacturing process. This affordability is a factor that contributes to their extensive popularity.
However, it’s important to note that despite rubber electrical wires excelling in flexibility and handling a broader temperature spectrum, they might not match PVC wires in chemical resistance, UV protection, and flame retardancy. PVC cable and rubber cable have their own advantages, and should be selected according to the specific application. Contrary to the perception held by some that rubber signifies inferior durability or quality, and thus a safety concern, the following section addresses this misconception.
Is rubber cable safe?
Certainly, rubber cables are safe for various electrical uses. They provide good flexibility, temperature and abrasion resistance, waterproof, and high tensile strength. Their rubber insulation ensures effective electrical insulation, preventing current leakage. Additionally, the inherent flexibility and robustness of heavy duty rubber cable significantly mitigate risks associated with mechanical stress and insulation deterioration, like cracking. It is worth noting, however, that rubber cables are less flame retardant and may not be suitable for high-frequency signal transmission; in such cases, low smoke zero halogen (LSZH) cables or shielded cables are recommended.
Optimal safety can be ensured by selecting high-quality rubber cables that meet relevant industry standards and certifications, and choosing an established manufacturer such as ZW cables. Besides, correct installation methods and regular maintenance checks further ensure the safety of the rubber flex cable.
All in all, rubber cables play an essential role in the electrical and industrial sectors, especially in challenging environments where conventional cable types may not be up to the task. Despite a higher cost compared to PVC cables, this does not detract from rubber cable’s value in applications where flexibility is key requirement. The choice of rubber cable type is based on application’s specific requirements and the environment in which the cable will be used, and it is best to consult a specialized cable manufacturer like ZW Cable. They can also offer customized solutions and professional advice on installation, maintenance, and compliance with safety standards.