There are many environments in which you’ll find multiconductor cables, and some of them come with high electromagnetic interference (EMI). EMI can cause several undesirable effects, and the addition of shielding can help a cable better withstand it. This makes it a popular choice in many demanding data environments. WesBell Electronics offers a wide selection of shielded multiconductor cables all built with quality at the forefront of design.
What Is Shielded Multiconductor Cable?
In a shielded multiconductor cable, the inner wires, often made of copper, are surrounded by a layer of material, such as braided copper strands, aluminum foil or some type of polymer. This shielding layer keeps EMI out and retains the integrity of the signal moving through the cable. Foil or tape shields are the most effective option since they completely coat the cable, blocking EMI. Braided shielding is more durable but less effective in preventing EMI.
Whichever form it takes, shielding is an important part of making sure these cables perform as needed in demanding applications. EMI can cause signal degradation, cross-talk, reduced speeds and other performance issues, and critical operations must minimize these as much as possible. You’ll find shielded cables in tasks like high-speed data transmission, computer connections, control circuits and industrial equipment. They can also replace multiple hook-up wires in some situations.
Shielded multiconductor cable from WesBell Electronics uses gray polyvinyl chloride (PVC) jacketing and UL1061-approved insulation. The inner wires are made of tinned copper strands, color-coded for ease of installation and coated in an aluminum polyester foil shield. The number of conductors ranges from two to six, depending on the size of the wire, which can vary between 14 and 24 American Wire Gauge (AWG). Overall, the wires support up to 300 volts and 80°C.
WesBell shielded cable complies with standards and specifications from The CSA Group, UL, LLC and the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive.
Shielded vs. Unshielded Cable
Both cables need to address EMI, but they do so in different ways. Instead of adding a layer of material, unshielded cables twist the wires to reduce EMI. This makes the cables lighter and much more flexible, but not as effective at keeping the signal steady. They are also lower-priced, so you’ll often find them in less-intense environments, like local area networks (LANs) and some office applications. However, it’s worth noting that they typically can’t support higher voltages.
Shielded cables are thicker and more rigid, but they’re often required in high-EMI locations or those that need steady and fast data transmissions, like data centers, equipment-heavy offices and industrial equipment.
Working With WesBell Electronics
Here at WesBell Electronics, we’ve been finding ways to meet our customers’ unique needs since 1988. Not sure if shielded cabling is appropriate for your project? Just run us through it, and our expert staff will be happy to help. If shielded cable isn’t the right pick, we also offer an array of other multiconductor cables as well as hook-up wire and portable cord.
We also offer a wide range of wire processing services to help you save time and find quality results. Click on the links above to explore our shielded multiconductor cable options or reach out to us to learn more!