Types of Cables


The electric cable refers to the cables that help to distribute the eclectic power. The components of the electric cables are the conductor, dielectric as well as sheath. The conductor of cables provides a conducting path and it is also very helpful for the insulation as well as dielectric withstands the voltage service. The cables isolate as the live conductor. Electric cables are mainly composed of copper as this metal is a very good conductor for electricity. Apart from copper, silver and aluminium are also severally used in the making electric cables.

What is the cable?

Figure 1: Different layers of cable

The conductor of the electric cables helps to carry the electricity while the insulator, as well as sheath, provides complete protection to the cables from the electric circuit as well as a chemical reaction. The classification of cables mainly depends on their application and their structure (Cui et al. 2020). The layers of the cable include plastic jacket, braided shield, aluminium foil, and copper conductor.

Electric cable: construction

Figure 2: Construction of the electric cables

The electric cable is mainly constructed with the three different components conductor, insulator as well as sheath. The conductor is the most important part of the electric cables that are mainly used for the transmission of the electricity as well as it is also severally made of silver, copper and aluminium. The insulator helps the electric cables for keeping the conductors separate from each other as well as it also prevents the unwanted flow of electricity. Different types of synthetic polymers are also used in making insulators. The sheath is another layer of the electric cables that provides protection to the wire from the chemical reaction and mainly PVC is used as the material.

Different types of cables

The classification of cables depends on the colors of the wire and the current as well. In DC current three different colors of cables are seen red, black and white. Red wire conducts the positive current while the back is used for conducting the negative current (Gu et al. 2019). The white or grey wire refers to the ground wire. In terms of AC current, black refers to phase 1 and is used for generating power, red is for phase 2 for transmission wires, phase 3 is blue for the power distribution and white is for the neutral wires. In the AC circuit, the green wire is used as the ground wire.

Cables are also classified into 5 different types like

  • Ribbon Electric Cables: This cable consists of different insulated wires that run parallel and are mainly used for the transmission of several data simultaneously. As an example, to connect the CPU with the motherboard this type of wire is commonly used.

  • Twisted Pair Cables: This type of cable is more insulated from the copper wires that are twisted with other color-coded wires. It is mainly used as the telephone calves as well as the resistance of the interference power can be measured through this cable.

  • Coaxial Cables: This type of cable is made of solid copper as well as a steel conductor that is enclosed in a metallic braid or tape. This type of cable is totally covered with the insulated protective external jacket and it is used for computer as well as audio-video networking.

  • Shielded Cables: This type of cable is the insulated type of wire and it is covered by the woven braided shield as well as aluminium Mylar foil. It is used for the better transmission of signals as well as remove the irregularities that depend on the power frequency. This type of cable comprises of higher voltage electric current as well as it is protected by the shield.

  • Fiber Optics Cable: This type of cable is very useful for the transportation of the optical data signals from the lighter source. A variety of applications is seen for this type of cable.

Electric cable: working principle

Figure 3: The working principle of the electric cables

The working process of the cables is entirely dependent on the layers of the cables. The four layers of the cable are central copper, and plastic insulator. Mesh conductive layer and wire sheath are the other layers of the electric cables (Resner & Paszkiewicz, 2021). The electric cables depends on the combination of different types of functions like the area of cross-sectional of a conductor, the resistance of the material of the conductor, the materials for insulation and the method for installation.


Cables are generally made by combining several wires together. Electric cables are mainly used for the generation, distribution as well as transmission of electricity with higher voltage levels. These are connected to the electric circuit with a connector. The combination of cables is commonly known as the assembly of cables. Some significant types of cables are coaxial cables, twisted pairs as well as optical fibers. Besides this, patch cables and power cables are also severely used.


Q1. What is the underground cable?

Ans. The underground cable refers to the cable which is buried indeed the ground for the transmission as well as distribution of electricity. This type of cable is mainly used in populated areas.

Q2. What is the purpose of Shielded Twisted Pair cable?

Ans. This type of cable is mainly used to transmit higher voltage levels and it is severely used for a different purpose. This type of cable is very easy to install having a higher capacity of electricity with a higher transmission rate.

Q3. What are the properties of electric cable?

Ans. The properties of the electric cable are strength, flexibility, fire retardant as well as heat resistance. Besides this the properties of cables also include non-toxic features, environment-friendly nature, using the facility as well as cost effectiveness.

Q4. What is the application of electric cables?

Ans. The application of electric cables is seen in severally seen in every aspect of daily life. The application of electric cables can be seen in the overhead power lines, railways as well as construction sites.


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