Wondering What is the difference between wire and cable? don’t worry, we got you covered. Read this blog where we have discussed wires and cables in detail and the difference between them.
It is common that the majority of the population using electronic and electrical components use the term wire and cable interchangeably. The sellers of electric components know the pain of getting confused when their customer asks for a wire, but while explaining the application, they understand that they need a cable instead. Understanding the contextual differences in application between them can help individuals to seek and use the right component for their specific needs. In this blog, let us clarify the differences between cables and wires.
What is a wire?
A wire is a piece of conductor that can carry electrical current. They are made of drawing out materials like Copper or Aluminium, which have high conductivity and low resistance. Wires can be classified into solid and stranded types. Solid wires are long and thin pieces of conductive metals created by drawing them through a series of dies. Stranded wires are ultra-thin filaments that have the flexibility to bend and get braided. Sometimes, the wires have an insulated coating to prevent electrical shorts or any other type of damage.
What is a cable?
Cables are multiple wires, usually twisted or braided together and have an insulated covering made out of plastic or rubber. The outer layer of a cable is made out of a protective sheath to avoid damage and ensure durability. Cables can be used to conduct electricity (power cables) and transmit data over long distances (communication cables). The major types of cables are twisted pair cables, coaxial cables, multi-conductor cables and fiber optic cables.
When do you need a wire?
Wires have a wide range of applications, starting from small circuits and all the way to automotive and aerospace applications. In household applications, they are seen in the internal wirings of electronic appliances, electrical fixtures, fuse filaments and switches.
When do you need a cable?
Cables are predominantly used in telecommunication, audio-visual and computer networking applications. Apart from complex electrical systems and industrial applications, they are also used for household needs such as mobile/laptop chargers, cables of electronic appliances etc.
Types of Wires
1. Solid wires
These are rigid and thick wires, which can conduct electricity better. It is ideal for outdoor use, as it is more durable by being resistant to weather and frequent movement. They are easier to be routed via conduit pipes.
2. Stranded wires
These are thin bundled wires, compressed and insulated with non-conductive materials. Being more flexible, they are preferred for connecting electronic components in cramped spaces.
Types of Cables
1. Twisted pair cables
As the name indicates twisted pair cables are a pair of cables twisted around each other. They are often used in telecommunication industries, professional sound engineering, theatres, studios and intercom systems.
2. Multi-conductor cables
Multi-conductor cables are multiple cables grouped together while being insulated from each other. The insulation reduces the interference between the cables, making it an ideal option for efficient data transmission.
3. Coaxial cables
Coaxial cables have a solid inner conductor surrounded by an outer layer of condutor foil The inner and outer layers are sandwiched between a layer of insulation. They are used in older models of broadcast communication on televisions and radios. Nowadays, they are falling out of favour against the ethernet and fiber optic cables.
4. Fibre optic cables
Fibre optic cables transmit data signals via hair-thin glass fibres. They can carry a lot of data more efficiently than cables with alloy conductors. So, they are heavily used for IT applications.
Summary of differences between wire and cable
|Made out of a single conductor||Made out of multiple conductors|
|Used to carry electricity over short distances. Also used for meshing, filaments of bulbs and even allowing mechanical loads.||Used to carry electricity and transmit telecommunication signals.|
|Types – Solid and stranded types||Types – Twisted pair cables, coaxial cables, fibre optic cables, multi-conductor cable|
|Offers low resistance and is good for high-frequency applications||Offers better product life, safety and insulation|
At Dyeton Solutions, we provide the right cables for every requirement ranging from household to industrial applications. Visit our store for all types of high-quality cables with which you can ensure optimal performance and safety of all your electrical and electronic equipment.