3 Stranding Options for Electrical Wire
Each wire in a cable can join up with other wires through stranding. Here are a few of the ways it can be done.
1. Solid Copper
Solid copper stranding means that there is a single strand of copper acting as the conductor. Common sizes of THHN wire that use solid stranding are 14, 12 and 10 American wire gauge (AWG). NMB and UFB cable also use solid stranding for the 14, 12 and 10 AWG cables.
Contractors, electricians and installers use these sizes of electrical wire in homes and buildings. They want the cables to be stiff instead of flexible so that they hold their form during installation. An extension cord on the other hand, is manufactured very flexible so that the user can handle it easier on a daily basis.
Stranded wires use multiple smaller AWG’s and wind them together to get the same diameter as a solid strand would be. For instance, instead of using a single 10 AWG solid strand of copper one could also get a 10 AWG wire with 19 strands. Obviously, those 19 strands are not all 10 AWG or it would be much larger in diameter. The math is calculated to determine what size is needed for 19 strands to equal 1 strand of 10 AWG copper. That way, both diameters of copper, solid or stranded, both exert the same amount of current.
3. Flexible Stranding
Typically, electrical wire used in homes or buildings does not come in a flexible option because the cables are installed and never touched again. However, extension cords and power cables are uncoiled to be used for the day and the coiled back on to the reel for later use. Generator cables and welding cable come to mind as flexible cables with very thin stranding.
If you need a flexible cable we can most definitely upgrade your electrical wire to a power cable. Just remember that power cables have a lot of design involved in them for outdoor wear and tear that feed into the price such as flexible stranding and thick rubber insulation.