Common Types of Electrical Cable and Conductors

Common Types of Electrical Cable and Conductors
Posted in: Articles

Common Types of Electrical Cable and Conductors

There are several types of electrical cables and conductors commonly used in Australia and New Zealand; can you name them all? Each type of conductor may require connectors to suit, from standard to custom manufactured lugs and links with a variety of applications.

Stranded Conductor 

The most common type of conductor used is standard stranded conductor with strands from seven to one hundred and twenty seven strands of varying diameter depending on the required cross section. Hard drawn copper conductors are stranded and commonly used for overhead lines and underground earthing. 

Compact Conductor

Cable manufacturers compact the conductor strands to reduce the overall conductor diameter so that they can use less material for insulation, outer sheaths and fillers.

Solid Sector

Solid sector is common in aluminium cable for use in power distribution. Cable manufacturers reduce material and overall cable diameter by arranging the conductors to fit together.

Stranded Sector

Stranded sector cable is common in four and three core distribution cables. Cable manufacturers reduce material and overall cable diameter by arranging the conductors to fit together. 

Fine Stranded

Fine stranded cable is commonly used where flexibility is required. Strands can number from seven to many thousands of strands depending on the cross section required. The strands have small diameters, but the overall conductor diameter will be larger than standard strand conductors. The strands splay outward when the insulation is removed and it is difficult to insert them into a lug or link barrel. 

ACSR

There are various types of overhead line conductors with ACSR (aluminium conductor steel reinforced) being one type. The steel strands in ACSR increase the conductor’s tensile strength. Other overhead conductors are AAC (All Aluminium Conductor), AAAC (All Aluminium Alloy Conductor), SC/GZ (Steel conductor/ galvanised) and SC/AC (steel conductor/aluminium clad). 

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