Unarmoured Cable Selection: Advantages and Comparisons

Navigating through the complex terrain of electrical cabling demands an acute understanding of the diverse types of cables available. This exploration ventures into the realm of unarmoured cables, a category often overshadowed yet important in its utility. We will dissect the nuanced composition, operational benefits, and the strategic role unarmoured cables play in various electrical setups.

Additionally, our exploration will extend to contrasting armoured cables with their flexible counterparts, illuminating key distinctions in their design and functionality. We will also delve into a comparative analysis of the pricing structures between armoured and unarmoured cables. This examination aims to enrich the understanding of unarmoured cables, advancing the conversation from fundamental aspects to a broader recognition of their critical role in the field of electrical engineering and sophisticated design.

What is unarmoured cable?

Within the realms of electrical and telecommunications engineering, unarmoured cables are defined by their absence of heavy protective armoring. These cables are specifically engineered for scenarios where the likelihood of physical stressors, including impacts, abrasion, or substantial mechanical harm, is either greatly reduced or absent.

Conductor: This is the core component of the cable, made from materials like copper or aluminum, responsible for carrying the electrical current or data signals. The conductor is often stranded or solid, depending on the flexibility required. For example, 4-core unarmored cables provide efficient power and signal transmission while maintaining a balance between protection and flexibility.

Insulation: Insulation acts as a non-conductive shield around the conductor and is crucial in averting current leakage and enhancing safety. Commonly, this insulation comprises materials like PVC, PE, and XLPE.

Sheathing: The outer jacket of the cable provides basic protection against environmental factors like moisture, chemicals, and UV light. It also offers some degree of mechanical protection, albeit significantly less than what armoured cables provide.

unarmoured cable

Having established the fundamental aspects of PVC sheathed unarmoured cable meaning, we now turn our attention to the multiple advantages these cables offer, highlighting why they are often the preferred choice in certain applications.

Advantages of unarmoured cable

Unarmoured power cables offer several advantages, making them a preferred choice for specific applications in the electrical industry. Key benefits include:

Enhanced Flexibility: Unarmoured cables, devoid of rigid metal armour, offer superior flexibility. This characteristic is vital for installations requiring intricate routing, as it allows the cables to bend easily around corners and obstacles.

Lightweight Construction: The absence of heavy metallic armouring significantly reduces the weight of unarmoured wire This lightweight nature facilitates easier handling and installation, particularly beneficial in overhead installations or when manual handling is involved.

Cost-Effectiveness: Unarmoured cables offer a more economical solution than their armoured counterparts, primarily due to reduced material expenses, making them a budget-friendly choice for extensive projects and cost-sensitive applications.

Ease of Installation: The combination of lightweight and flexibility accelerates the installation process for unarmoured PVC cables. This efficiency can lead to reduced labor costs and shorter project timelines, optimizing overall installation efforts.

Suitability for Controlled Environments: Unarmored cables are ideal for indoor environments. It excels in settings free from significant mechanical strain or severe external factors, guaranteeing both durability and an extended lifespan under these conditions.

Fundamentally, unarmoured cables represent an efficient and budget-friendly option for electrical setups prioritizing flexibility, user-friendliness, and cost-effectiveness. Their suitability for controlled environments and the variety available make them a versatile option in the electrical cabling domain. Now we can have a look at the distinctions between cables armored and flexible cables.

What is the difference between armoured cable and flexible cable?

Understanding the distinction between armoured and flexible cables is crucial for selecting the appropriate type for specific applications. Below are the main differences based on their properties:

1.Construction and Physical Attributes:

  • Armoured cable: Armored cables are characterized by a protective metal armor layer, usually made of steel or aluminum that encases the cable. This armor layer protects against mechanical damage such as impact or crush forces, making these cables exceptionally rugged in challenging environment
  • Flexible cable: In contrast, flexible cables are engineered for high pliability, featuring finely stranded conductors and flexible insulation materials. This design enables the cable to withstand frequent and significant bending, adapting to continuous movement without sustaining damage.

2.Intended Applications:

  • Armoured Cable: Tailored for areas requiring substantial physical shielding, armoured cables are indispensable in underground, outdoor, and industrial settings prone to mechanical hazards. For instance, the most common armored cables are 4mm and 6mm armoured cable.
  • Flexible Cable: Designed for adaptability, these cables are ideal for use with machinery, robotics, and portable devices, offering essential flexibility and durability against ongoing movement.

3.Installation Implications:

  • Armoured cable: The rigid nature of armouring cables necessitates specialized installation techniques, particularly in confined spaces. Their installation may also require additional fittings like armored cable glands and protective measures to manage their bulk and weight.
  • Flexible cable: Thanks to their adaptability, flexible cables offer easier installation, especially in complex layouts or confined areas. Their malleability simplifies routing and connecting in diverse applications.

Also learn more about flexible cable:Understanding Flexible Cable: Types&Applications, and Definition

4.Durability and Protective Characteristics:

  • Armoured cable: They offer enhanced durability, particularly against external physical threats, ensuring long-term reliability in harsh conditions. This robustness extends to their resistance to damage during installation and use.
  • Flexible cable: While not designed for extreme environments, flexible cables are uniquely durable in their ability to endure repeated bending and flexing, a critical attribute for applications involving movement.

armoured cable and flexible cable

Selecting between armoured and flexible cables involves a careful assessment of the specific environmental conditions, mechanical stress factors, and the necessity for either rigidity or flexibility. A thorough understanding of these distinctions is vital for ensuring optimal safety, operational efficiency, and the long-term performance of electrical installations. The next critical aspect to consider is the economic factor. Let’s explore the price variance between armoured and unarmoured cables and understand what drives these differences.

Price difference between armoured and unarmoured cable

The pricing disparity between armoured and unarmored cables is an essential consideration in electrical installations, largely driven by differences in their construction and material requirements.

Material and Construction Costs:

Armoured cables: Incorporating metal armour, typically steel or aluminum, armoured cables are inherently more material-intensive. This additional layer is designed for physical protection against mechanical stresses, thus escalating the raw material input and overall cost. The manufacturing process of armoured cables is also more complex. It involves extra steps to apply and secure the armouring, requiring specialized equipment and skilled labor, which further adds to the production expenses.

Unarmoured cables: In contrast, xlpe unarmoured cables do not have this metal sheathing. The reduction in material usage — both in quantity and in the absence of costly metals — results in lower production costs. The simpler design streamlines the manufacturing process, avoiding the complexities and additional costs associated with armouring.

armoured vs unarmoured cable construction

Factors Influencing Price Variance:

Application-Specific Design: The cost is also influenced by the specific requirements of the intended application. Cables designed for particular environments or with special features may carry different price tags, reflecting their customization and complexity.

Market Conditions: Both types of cables are subject to fluctuating market conditions. The prices of raw materials, labor, and logistical factors can impact the cost difference between armoured and aluminum unarmoured cables. These dynamics can vary over time, affecting the overall pricing landscape in the electrical wire industry.

Overall, while armoured electrical cables generally have a higher price point due to their enhanced protection features and manufacturing complexities, the actual cost difference can vary based on specific use-case requirements and changing market factors. Decision-makers should consider these aspects alongside the operational and environmental needs of their projects when selecting the appropriate cable type.


This discourse has meticulously examined unarmoured cables, shedding light on their characteristics, advantages, and the distinct contrast they present when compared to flexible and armoured wires. This detailed examination is pivotal in assisting professionals in the electrical domain and individuals in selecting appropriate cable types. It ensures informed decision-making, with cable selections precisely aligned to each project’s unique demands, considering environmental conditions and installation prerequisites.

As we reflect on these insights, it is evident that the choice of cable type is critical in ensuring both efficiency and safety in electrical installations. This is where ZW Cable Company’s role becomes particularly relevant. As a leading unarmoured and armoured cable manufacturer, ZW Cable offers an extensive portfolio of both armoured and unarmoured multicore cables, tailored to meet a wide array of industry requirements. Additionally, you can contact us for an unarmored cable price list to help you make a better decision. Engaging with ZW Cable not only ensures access to top-tier products but also guarantees expert guidance in selecting the right cable for every unique application.


Where to use unarmoured cable?

Unarmored cables lack a protective reinforcement layer, making them less durable and not suitable for direct burial in the ground. Without this crucial layer, cables are more vulnerable to physical damage from external factors such as moisture, pressure, and environmental conditions. Consequently, their use is typically restricted to indoor or protected environments where the risk of damage is significantly reduced.

Is XLPE cable armored or not?

Armored XLPE cables have cross-linked insulation and an armored outer layer. This armor provides a degree of resistance to external forces and also protects the cable from rodent damage. It guarantees uninterrupted power transmission.

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About Me
Richard Zi
Richard Zi

My name is Richard Zi, and serve as the General Manager of ZW Cable. With a deep and extensive background of more than 15 years in the cable industry, I am excited to share my wealth of knowledge and experience.ZW Cable is a renowned company in the field of cable manufacturing in world, we specialize in selecting the best cable sizes and effectively solving all your cable challenges. If you have any questions or needs regarding cable solutions, please contact me and I assure you of the highest standards of personalized and effective guidance and support.View All My Posts >>

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